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The Deep State's Revolt
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:23 pm    Post subject: The Deep State's Revolt Reply with quote

The Spy Revolt Against Trump Begins

This is the Observer, Kuchner's mag, by the way.

Quote:
[F]ears that the White House is too friendly to Moscow are causing close allies to curtail some of their espionage relationships with Washington—a development with grave implications for international security, particularly in the all-important realm of counterterrorism.

. . .

Our Intelligence Community is so worried by the unprecedented problems of the Trump administration—not only do senior officials possess troubling ties to the Kremlin, there are nagging questions about basic competence regarding Team Trump—that it is beginning to withhold intelligence from a White House which our spies do not trust.

That the IC has ample grounds for concern is demonstrated by almost daily revelations of major problems inside the White House, a mere three weeks after the inauguration. The president has repeatedly gone out of his way to antagonize our spies, mocking them and demeaning their work, and Trump’s personal national security guru can’t seem to keep his story straight on vital issues.


It goes on to cover the Michael Flynn bru-ha-ha.

Quote:
Our spy services conduct signals intelligence—SIGINT for short—against the Russian embassy in Washington, just as the Russians do against our embassy in Moscow. Ambassadors’ calls are always monitored: that’s how the SpyWar works, everywhere.

Ambassador Kislyak surely knew his conversations with Flynn were being intercepted, and it’s incomprehensible that a career military intelligence officer who once headed a major intelligence agency didn’t realize the same. Whether Flynn is monumentally stupid or monumentally arrogant is the big question that hangs over this increasingly strange affair.


The scuttlebutt has consistently been that Flynn rides the short bus.

At any rate, SIGINT is the one intel program that certainly works.

Quote:
A new report by CNN indicates that important parts of the infamous spy dossier that professed to shed light on President Trump’s shady Moscow ties have been corroborated by communications intercepts. In other words, SIGINT strikes again, providing key evidence that backs up some of the claims made in that 35-page report compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence official with extensive Russia experience.

As I’ve previously explained, that salacious dossier is raw intelligence, an explosive amalgam of fact and fantasy, including some disinformation planted by the Kremlin to obscure this already murky case. Now SIGINT confirms that some of the non-salacious parts of what Steele reported, in particular how senior Russian officials conspired to assist Trump in last year’s election, are substantially based in fact. This is bad news for the White House, which has already lashed out in angry panic, with Press Secretary Sean Spicer stating, “We continue to be disgusted by CNN’s fake news reporting.”


These inept denials will only give the Deep State further credibility among the elites and urban dwellers more generally.

Quote:
There is more consequential IC pushback happening, too. Our spies have never liked Trump’s lackadaisical attitude toward the President’s Daily Brief, the most sensitive of all IC documents, which the new commander-in-chief has received haphazardly. The president has frequently blown off the PDB altogether, tasking Flynn with condensing it into a one-page summary with no more than nine bullet-points. Some in the IC are relieved by this, but there are pervasive concerns that the president simply isn’t paying attention to intelligence.


As we may recall, 9-11 happened because the Bush Administration ignored poignant warnings of training and an attack. But it worked out well for them, as Bush's approval rating soared after 9-11. The best way for Trump to overcome the spy community might be to endure a massive terrorist attack on US soil.

In the meantime, the spies are holding back the good stuff from POTUS.
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flynn is out.

More to come . . .
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CentralCali



Joined: 17 May 2007

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Out like Flynn", huh?
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J.Q.A.



Joined: 09 Feb 2017
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CentralCali wrote:
"Out like Flynn", huh?



....have to give you props for that one.
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CentralCali



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw it on another Web forum.
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J.Q.A.



Joined: 09 Feb 2017
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://theweek.com/articles/680068/americas-spies-anonymously-took-down-michael-flynn-that-deeply-worrying


Quote:
The United States is much better off without Michael Flynn serving as national security adviser. But no one should be cheering the way he was brought down.

The whole episode is evidence of the precipitous and ongoing collapse of America's democratic institutions — not a sign of their resiliency. Flynn's ouster was a soft coup (or political assassination) engineered by anonymous intelligence community bureaucrats. The results might be salutary, but this isn't the way a liberal democracy is supposed to function.

Unelected intelligence analysts work for the president, not the other way around. Far too many Trump critics appear not to care that these intelligence agents leaked highly sensitive information to the press — mostly because Trump critics are pleased with the result. "Finally," they say, "someone took a stand to expose collusion between the Russians and a senior aide to the president!" It is indeed important that someone took such a stand. But it matters greatly who that someone is and how they take their stand. Members of the unelected, unaccountable intelligence community are not the right someone, especially when they target a senior aide to the president by leaking anonymously to newspapers the content of classified phone intercepts, where the unverified, unsubstantiated information can inflict politically fatal damage almost instantaneously.

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President Trump was roundly mocked among liberals for that tweet. But he is, in many ways, correct. These leaks are an enormous problem. And in a less polarized context, they would be recognized immediately for what they clearly are: an effort to manipulate public opinion for the sake of achieving a desired political outcome. It's weaponized spin.

This doesn't mean the outcome was wrong. I have no interest in defending Flynn, who appears to be an atrocious manager prone to favoring absurd conspiracy theories over more traditional forms of intelligence. He is just about the last person who should be giving the president advice about foreign policy. And for all I know, Flynn did exactly what the anonymous intelligence community leakers allege — promised the Russian ambassador during the transition that the incoming Trump administration would back off on sanctions proposed by the outgoing Obama administration.

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But no matter what Flynn did, it is simply not the role of the deep state to target a man working in one of the political branches of the government by dishing to reporters about information it has gathered clandestinely. It is the role of elected members of Congress to conduct public investigations of alleged wrongdoing by public officials.

What if Congress won't act? What if both the Senate and the House of Representatives are held by the same party as the president and members of both chambers are reluctant to cross a newly elected head of the executive branch who enjoys overwhelming approval of his party's voters? In such a situation — our situation — shouldn't we hope the deep state will rise up to act responsibly to take down a member of the administration who may have broken the law?

The answer is an unequivocal no.

In a liberal democracy, how things happen is often as important as what happens. Procedures matter. So do rules and public accountability. The chaotic, dysfunctional Trump White House is placing the entire system under enormous strain. That's bad. But the answer isn't to counter it with equally irregular acts of sabotage — or with a disinformation campaign waged by nameless civil servants toiling away in the surveillance state.

As Eli Lake of Bloomberg News put it in an important article following Flynn's resignation,

Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do. [Bloomberg]

Those cheering the deep state torpedoing of Flynn are saying, in effect, that a police state is perfectly fine so long as it helps to bring down Trump.

It is the role of Congress to investigate the president and those who work for him. If Congress resists doing its duty, out of a mixture of self-interest and cowardice, the American people have no choice but to try and hold the government's feet to the fire, demanding action with phone calls, protests, and, ultimately, votes. That is a democratic response to the failure of democracy.

Sitting back and letting shadowy, unaccountable agents of espionage do the job for us simply isn't an acceptable alternative.

Down that path lies the end of democracy in America.


All us mere mortals can do is watch it all go round and round.
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J.Q.A.



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/former-obama-officials-loyalists-waged-campaign-oust-flynn/


BY: Adam Kredo
February 14, 2017 3:26 pm

The abrupt resignation Monday evening of White House national security adviser Michael Flynn is the culmination of a secret, months-long campaign by former Obama administration confidantes to handicap President Donald Trump's national security apparatus and preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, according to multiple sources in and out of the White House who described to the Washington Free Beacon a behind-the-scenes effort by these officials to plant a series of damaging stories about Flynn in the national media.

The effort, said to include former Obama administration adviser Ben Rhodes—the architect of a separate White House effort to create what he described as a pro-Iran echo chamber—included a small task force of Obama loyalists who deluged media outlets with stories aimed at eroding Flynn's credibility, multiple sources revealed.

The operation primarily focused on discrediting Flynn, an opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, in order to handicap the Trump administration's efforts to disclose secret details of the nuclear deal with Iran that had been long hidden by the Obama administration.

Insiders familiar with the anti-Flynn campaign told the Free Beacon that these Obama loyalists plotted in the months before Trump's inauguration to establish a set of roadblocks before Trump's national security team, which includes several prominent opponents of diplomacy with Iran. The Free Beacon first reported on this effort in January.

Sources who spoke to the Free Beacon requested anonymity in order to speak freely about the situation and avoid interfering with the White House's official narrative about Flynn, which centers on his failure to adequately inform the president about a series of phone calls with Russian officials.

Flynn took credit for his missteps regarding these phone calls in a brief statement released late Monday evening. Trump administration officials subsequently stated that Flynn's efforts to mislead the president and vice president about his contacts with Russia could not be tolerated.

However, multiple sources closely involved in the situation pointed to a larger, more secretive campaign aimed at discrediting Flynn and undermining the Trump White House.

"It's undeniable that the campaign to discredit Flynn was well underway before Inauguration Day, with a very troublesome and politicized series of leaks designed to undermine him," said one veteran national security adviser with close ties to the White House team. "This pattern reminds me of the lead up to the Iran deal, and probably features the same cast of characters."

The Free Beacon first reported in January that, until its final days in office, the Obama administration hosted several pro-Iran voices who were critical in helping to mislead the American public about the terms of the nuclear agreement. This included a former Iranian government official and the head of the National Iranian American Council, or NIAC, which has been accused of serving as Iran's mouthpiece in Washington, D.C.

Since then, top members of the Obama administration's national security team have launched a communications infrastructure after they left the White House, and have told reporters they are using that infrastructure to undermine Trump's foreign policy.

"It's actually Ben Rhodes, NIAC, and the Iranian mullahs who are celebrating today," said one veteran foreign policy insider who is close to Flynn and the White House. "They know that the number one target is Iran … [and] they all knew their little sacred agreement with Iran was going to go off the books. So they got rid of Flynn before any of the [secret] agreements even surfaced."

Flynn had been preparing to publicize many of the details about the nuclear deal that had been intentionally hidden by the Obama administration as part of its effort to garner support for the deal, these sources said.

Flynn is now "gone before anybody can see what happened" with these secret agreements, said the second insider close to Flynn and the White House.

Sources in and out of the White House are concerned that the campaign against Flynn will be extended to other prominent figures in the Trump administration.

One senior White House official told the Free Beacon that leaks targeting the former official were "not the result of a series of random events."

"The drumbeat of leaks of sensitive material related to General Flynn has been building since he was named to his position," said the official, who is a member of the White House's National Security Council. "Last night was not the result of a series of random events. The president has lost a valuable adviser and we need to make sure this sort of thing does not happen again."

Other sources expressed concern that public trust in the intelligence community would be eroded by the actions of employees with anti-Trump agendas.

"The larger issue that should trouble the American people is the far-reaching power of unknown, unelected apparatchiks in the Intelligence Community deciding for themselves both who serves in government and what is an acceptable policy they will allow the elected representatives of the people to pursue," said the national security adviser quoted above.

"Put aside the issue of Flynn himself; that nameless, faceless bureaucrats were able to take out a president's national security adviser based on a campaign of innuendo without evidence should worry every American," the source explained.

Eli Lake, a Bloomberg View columnist and veteran national security reporter well sourced in the White House, told the Free Beacon that Flynn earned a reputation in the Obama administration as one of its top detractors.

"Michael Flynn was one of the Obama administration's fiercest critics after he was forced out of the Defense Intelligence Agency," said Lake, who described "the political assassination of Michael Flynn" in his column published early Tuesday.

"[Flynn] was a withering critic of Obama's biggest foreign policy initiative, the Iran deal," Lake said. "He also publicly accused the administration of keeping classified documents found in the Osama bin Laden raid that showed Iran's close relationship with al Qaeda. He was a thorn in their side."

Lake noted in his column that he does not buy fully the White House's official spin on Flynn's resignation.

"For a White House that has such a casual and opportunistic relationship with the truth, it's strange that Flynn's ‘lie' to Pence would get him fired," Lake wrote. "It doesn't add up."

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer stated in his daily briefing that "the evolving and eroding level of trust as a result of this situation and a series of other questionable incidents is what led the president to ask General Flynn for his resignation."

A third source who serves as a congressional adviser and was involved in the 2015 fight over the Iran deal told the Free Beacon that the Obama administration feared that Flynn would expose the secret agreements with Iran.

"The Obama administration knew that Flynn was going to release the secret documents around the Iran deal, which would blow up their myth that it was a good deal that rolled back Iran," the source said. "So in December the Obama NSC started going to work with their favorite reporters, selectively leaking damaging and incomplete information about Flynn."

"After Trump was inaugurated some of those people stayed in and some began working from the outside, and they cooperated to keep undermining Trump," the source said, detailing a series of leaks from within the White House in the past weeks targeting Flynn. "Last night's resignation was their first major win, but unless the Trump people get serious about cleaning house, it won't be the last."


Tit-for tat I suppose.
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flynn lied to the public. Nobody should be sad to see him go. But they should know whose leak resulted in his resignation.
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J.Q.A.



Joined: 09 Feb 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kuros wrote:
Flynn lied to the public. Nobody should be sad to see him go. But they should know whose leak resulted in his resignation.


Yeah, kind of reminds me of..."If you like your health plan...you can keep it"...or something along those lines...among a few other examples.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

J.Q.A. wrote:
Kuros wrote:
Flynn lied to the public. Nobody should be sad to see him go. But they should know whose leak resulted in his resignation.


Yeah, kind of reminds me of..."If you like your health plan...you can keep it"...or something along those lines...among a few other examples.


What is more striking is that the same political demographic which angrily insisted Mrs. Clinton ought not to face the legal implications of her handling of confidential information turned around and heckled Mr. Flynn out of office on what seems to be, at best, a Logan Act technicality. After all, even if we grant the constitutionality of the law in question, the fellow was part of an incoming administration, so the violation in question amounts to him having said what he would have said anyway a few weeks sooner. If one wishes to take the attitude that the rule of law is paramount and all violations by those in political power should be taken seriously, I can see the case for viewing Mr. Flynn's actions negatively, so long as one views Mrs. Clinton's actions negatively as well. Mr. Comey very carefully spelled out her guilt before deciding not to recommend charges, and far from fretting over the technicalities of the law, there was jubilation; Comey was hailed as a true asset to our country, at least briefly.

The rule of law applying to high-ranking political figures is probably best for our country. If Mr. Flynn truly violated this law, then his prosecution would be fitting, both to test the law properly in the courts and to show that the rule of law is taken seriously. To let it end with him merely resigning doesn't make sense; it just reinforces the insulation the politically influential have from the same rule of law which would be brought down with great force upon a common citizen. But anyone who would agree with that should agree that Mrs. Clinton facing prosecution would have been best for our country as well, and anyone unwilling to agree with the latter has no real basis to have heckled Mr. Flynn regarding the former.
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J.Q.A.



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
J.Q.A. wrote:
Kuros wrote:
Flynn lied to the public. Nobody should be sad to see him go. But they should know whose leak resulted in his resignation.


Yeah, kind of reminds me of..."If you like your health plan...you can keep it"...or something along those lines...among a few other examples.


What is more striking is that the same political demographic which angrily insisted Mrs. Clinton ought not to face the legal implications of her handling of confidential information turned around and heckled Mr. Flynn out of office on what seems to be, at best, a Logan Act technicality. After all, even if we grant the constitutionality of the law in question, the fellow was part of an incoming administration, so the violation in question amounts to him having said what he would have said anyway a few weeks sooner. If one wishes to take the attitude that the rule of law is paramount and all violations by those in political power should be taken seriously, I can see the case for viewing Mr. Flynn's actions negatively, so long as one views Mrs. Clinton's actions negatively as well. Mr. Comey very carefully spelled out her guilt before deciding not to recommend charges, and far from fretting over the technicalities of the law, there was jubilation; Comey was hailed as a true asset to our country, at least briefly.

The rule of law applying to high-ranking political figures is probably best for our country. If Mr. Flynn truly violated this law, then his prosecution would be fitting, both to test the law properly in the courts and to show that the rule of law is taken seriously. To let it end with him merely resigning doesn't make sense; it just reinforces the insulation the politically influential have from the same rule of law which would be brought down with great force upon a common citizen. But anyone who would agree with that should agree that Mrs. Clinton facing prosecution would have been best for our country as well, and anyone unwilling to agree with the latter has no real basis to have heckled Mr. Flynn regarding the former.


Well...at least Flynn resigned.
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J.Q.A.



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well...all this really does show the circular gaggle phuck that takes place in the District of Criminals.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/02/14/fbi-needs-to-explain-why-michael-flynn-was-recorded-gop-intelligence-chairman-says/?utm_term=.8a97b598f735

Quote:

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Tuesday that the most significant question posed by the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn is why intelligence officials eavesdropped on his calls with the Russian ambassador and later leaked information on those calls to the press.

“I expect for the FBI to tell me what is going on, and they better have a good answer,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which is conducting a review of Russian activities to influence the election. “The big problem I see here is that you have an American citizen who had his phone calls recorded.”

Flynn resigned Monday night, days after The Washington Post reported that intelligence officials had recorded Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. before Trump took office. Those recordings, The Post reported, appeared to contradict Flynn’s own claims that he had not discussed easing U.S. sanctions on Russia.

Although it remains unclear whether Flynn himself was being monitored for any reason, his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were intercepted because the Russians’ calls are routinely monitored.

The president also criticized the leaks in a tweet early Tuesday morning.

Separately Tuesday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said he had no plans to further probe links between Flynn and Russia. “It’s taken care of itself at this point,” he said.

Facing reporters, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) brushed off questions about whether Congress needs to further investigate the Trump administration’s dealings with Russia, saying he was “not going to prejudge the circumstances” of Flynn’s calls. Ryan suggested he was most troubled that Flynn may have misled Vice President Pence about the substance of the calls.

“I think the president made the right decision,” he said. “You cannot have a national security adviser misleading the vice president.”

Nunes said he was dismayed that those recordings had leaked, citing a complex process for tapping communications involving U.S. citizens and then “unmasking” it for intelligence use.

The top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), said late Monday that Flynn resignation “does not end questions over his contacts with the Russians.”

These alleged contacts and any others the Trump campaign may have had with the Kremlin are the subject of the House Intelligence Committee’s ongoing investigation,” he said in a statement. “Moreover, the Trump Administration has yet to be forthcoming about who was aware of Flynn’s conversations with the Ambassador and whether he was acting on the instructions of the President or any other officials, or with their knowledge.”

Nunes said it was “very hard to believe” that Flynn was acting as “some sort of secret Russian agent.”

He also said he saw some hypocrisy in the response of Democrats to the Flynn recording.

“Where are all the privacy groups screaming now?” he asked
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Kuros



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The vast surveillance apparatus run by six-figure security cleared bureaucrats will continue to violate the Fourth Amendment, whether or not Trump ultimately submits.

Putin seems unhappy about all this.
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Kuros



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://theintercept.com/2017/02/14/the-leakers-who-exposed-gen-flynns-lie-committed-serious-and-wholly-justified-felonies/

Glenn Greenwald wrote:
In his January 12 column, Ignatius wrote: “According to a senior U.S. government official, Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other measures in retaliation for the hacking.”

That “senior U.S. government official” committed a serious felony by leaking to Ignatius the communication activities of Flynn. Similar and even more extreme crimes were committed by what the Washington Post called “nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls,” who told the paper for its February 9 article that “Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials.” The New York Times, also citing anonymous U.S. officials, provided even more details about the contents of Flynn’s telephone calls.

That all of these officials committed major crimes can hardly be disputed. In January, CNN reported that Flynn’s calls with the Russians “were captured by routine U.S. eavesdropping targeting the Russian diplomats.” That means that the contents of those calls were “obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of [a] foreign government,” which in turn means that anyone who discloses them — or reports them to the public — is guilty of a felony under the statute.

Yet very few people are calling for a criminal investigation or the prosecution of these leakers, nor demanding the leakers step forward and “face the music” — for very good reason: The officials leaking this information acted justifiably, despite the fact that they violated the law. That’s because the leaks revealed that a high government official, Gen. Flynn, blatantly lied to the public about a material matter — his conversations with Russian diplomats — and the public has the absolute right to know this.

This episode underscores a critical point: The mere fact that an act is illegal does not mean it is unjust or even deserving of punishment. Oftentimes, the most just acts are precisely the ones that the law prohibits.

That’s particularly true of whistleblowers — i.e., those who reveal information the law makes it a crime to reveal, when doing so is the only way to demonstrate to the public that powerful officials are acting wrongfully or deceitfully. In those cases, we should cheer those who do it even though they are undertaking exactly those actions that the criminal law prohibits.

This Flynn episode underscores another critical point: The motives of leakers are irrelevant. It’s very possible — indeed, likely — that the leakers here were not acting with benevolent motives. Nobody with a straight face can claim that lying to the public is regarded in official Washington as some sort of mortal sin; if anything, the contrary is true: It’s seen as a job requirement.

Moreover, Gen. Flynn has many enemies throughout the intelligence and defense community. The same is true, of course, of Donald Trump; recall that just a few weeks ago, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer warned Trump that he was being “really dumb” to criticize the intelligence community because “they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”

It’s very possible — I’d say likely — that the motive here was vindictive rather than noble. Whatever else is true, this is a case where the intelligence community, through strategic (and illegal) leaks, destroyed one of its primary adversaries in the Trump White House.

But no matter. What matters is not the motive of the leaker but the effects of the leak. Any leak that results in the exposure of high-level wrongdoing — as this one did — should be praised, not scorned and punished.


Greenwald goes on to compare Flynn's lies to Clapper's.
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Kuros



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trump strikes back.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/02/28/trump-no-plans-to-fill-unnecessary-appointed-positions.html

Morale Low at the State Department

Quote:
Tillerson’s chief of staff is not his own, but is, according to the Washington Post, a Trump transition alum named Margaret Peterlin. “Tillerson is surrounded by a bunch of rather mysterious Trumpistas,” said the senior State official who recently left. “How the hell is he supposed to do his job when even his right hand is not his own person?” One State Department employee told me that Peterlin has instructed staff that all communications with Tillerson have to go through her, and even scolded someone for answering a question Tillerson asked directly, in a meeting.

. . .

Tillerson seems cut off not just from the White House, but from the State Department. “The guidance from Tillerson has been, the less paper the better,” said the State Department staffer. “Voluntary papers are not exactly encouraged, so not much information is coming up to him. And nothing is flowing down from him to us. That, plus the absence of undersecretaries and assistant secretaries means there’s no guidance to the troops so we’re just marking time and responding.”

Many in the State Department openly acknowledge that the department is bloated, that it is at times inefficient and redundant.


Tillerson is probably one of the few qualified ones in Trump's cabinet, too.

We will see how this goes. I suspect not well. On the other hand, "many [at] State acknowledge bloat[]" has to be a huge confirmation of Trump's goal, if not necessarily his specific methods.
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