Nov 232019
 
 November 23, 2019  Posted by at 2:14 pm Finance, Primers Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,


Salvador Dali Back the girl 1926

 

It wouldn’t be the first time we ask ourselves what American journalism has come to, but that question sure appears relevant today. There are again new accusations floating around about Trump. And of course we are all weary by now, after the Russiagate bomb and the Ukraine fizzle, but okay, let’s take a look.

There is a newfangled poetically named “ethics watchdog” named American Oversight, which has received some documents after a FOIA request. And everybody’s talking about it! So it must be real interesting, right? The word bombshell comes to mind. Or at least, the minds of much of the press. There’s the BBC:

The US State Department has released records relating to the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine. Documents were released to the ethics watchdog American Oversight after a freedom of information request. The records show repeated contacts between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mr Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. US ties with Ukraine are at the centre of an impeachment investigation against Mr Trump.

The president is accused of withholding aid to Ukraine that had been approved by Congress to pressure the country into investigating his political rival Joe Biden. Mr Giuliani has been accused of trying to discredit former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch while running a shadow US foreign policy on Ukraine. There have been questions over what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo knew.

The records show Mr Pompeo and Mr Giuliani repeatedly spoke to one another – although the topics of those conversations remain unknown. Emails among the documents suggest the pair spoke on the phone on 27 and 29 March.

And the Guardian:

Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani was in contact with secretary of state Mike Pompeo in the months before the US ambassador to Ukraine was abruptly recalled, according to a cache of documents released on Friday. The state department released the documents to the group American Oversight in response to a freedom of information lawsuit. They show that Pompeo talked with Giuliani on 26 March and 29 March.


Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight, said the documents reveal a clear paper trail from Giuliani to Trump to Pompeo in order to enable the smear campaign against the now ousted envoy in Kyiv, Marie Yovanovitch. “We can see why Mike Pompeo has refused to release this information to Congress. It reveals a clear paper trail from Rudy Giuliani to the Oval Office to secretary Pompeo to facilitate Giuliani’s smear campaign against a US ambassador,” he said.

As well as NBC:

The allegations of a pressure campaign by Trump to get the Ukrainians to announce investigations into a conspiracy theory about the 2016 presidential election and the Bidens are central to the impeachment inquiry into whether Trump abused the power of his office for personal political gain.

The documents released Friday appear to confirm that Pompeo and Giuliani spoke on the phone on March 26, and that another call was scheduled between the two men for March 29 and that it took place. One email appears to show Trump’s former personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, helping to connect Giuliani to Pompeo after there was trouble establishing a connection.

The documents do not say what Giuliani and Pompeo discussed. The March 29 call was scheduled for 20 minutes but lasted just four minutes, according to the documents, and the March 26 call was also just minutes long, the emails show.

When I first saw this all this morning I thought: let it go, and I’m thinking just that again right now. Look, Pompeo and Giuliani talking to each other for just minutes (and to their boss!) is hardly a crime. Unless they talk about committing crimes, but you don’t even know what was discussed! That a group which calls itself nonpartisan connects these calls to Giuliani’s alleged smear campaign against Yovanovich is a bit more puzzling.

Because a president doesn’t need any reason to fire an ambassador. He gets the permission to do that the moment he’s first elected and then inaugurated. He doesn’t have to explain. Getting Giuliani in there doesn’t look like Trump’s best moment, but it’s inconsequential from a legal point of view.

Another allegation that’s being repeated is that Giuliani et al were looking to dig up dirt against Joe Biden and his family, with an eye to the 2020 election. But, again, is that so? Wasn’t perhaps finding out what the most corrupt company in the world’s third-most corrupt country, which receives billions in US aid, was up to in 2016, or today for that matter, the real intention?

Why should we believe it was about 2020, and not 2016? Are there perhaps American interests who don’t want Burisma investigated? And are they perhaps behind the accusation that links that investigation to 2020, so there won’t be an investigation? Shouldn’t we all want to find out what went on?

 

Another story connected to this is that Minority House Leader David Nunes in Vienna met with Victor Shokin, the former Ukraine prosecutor who was fired mere hours after Joe Biden demanded he be. Moon of Alabama asked earlier today on Twitter if anyone has ever seen evidence that Shokin was corrupt, as Biden and others have claimed. I come up empty on that one. Here’s NBC on Nunes’s trip:

The attorney for an indicted associate of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer says his client is willing to tell Congress that Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, met with Ukraine’s former top prosecutor about investigating the activities of Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.

An impeachment inquiry is being conducted over allegations Trump held up aid to Ukraine to encourage its leaders to launch an investigation into Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, who worked as an energy executive in that country. As vice president, Joe Biden joined a chorus of global pressure for Ukraine to fire then-state prosecutor Victor Shokin.

Trump and Nunes, his chief defender as a ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee that has taken a lead role in the impeachment inquiry, say Joe Biden wanted Shokin out to protect his son when Hunter Biden’s employer, Burisma, was under suspicion. Shokin himself claims he was fired at the behest of the former vice president to ease pressure on Burisma and Hunter Biden.

Joseph A. Bondy, an attorney for Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, confirmed that his client was willing to testify before Congress that Nunes met with Shokin. “I can confirm that Victor Shokin told Lev Parnas that he had met with Nunes in Vienna in late 2018, and that Derek Harvey informed that they were investigating the activities of Joe and Hunter Biden related to Burisma,” Bondy told NBC News. Derek Harvey is Nunes’ investigator.

There are a lot of people out there who don’t like Devin Nunes. Which is fine. But claiming that he committed a crime or something in that vein just by talking, with his investigator, to Shokin about Burisma, that’s a whole other thing.

This entire topic appears to be founded on an idea that many people have convinced themselves and others of, that the Trump administration doesn’t have the right to investigate what happened in the past, because it might affect the future. It would seem they DO have that right, though.

It would also seem that they couldn’t rely on existing diplomatic staff in Ukraine and Europe to investigate Burisma. Schiff’s impeachment witnesses made that abundantly clear. So if they do investigate on their own, are they breaking laws, or are they merely breaking a protocol that suits some people just fine?

American Oversight has promised much more: “The evidence is only going to get worse for the administration as its stonewall strategy collapses in the face of court orders..”. Alright, fine, let’s see it. But it had better be better than this. You have to come with facts. Certainly after two failed investigations.

“Giuliani talked to Pompeo” may be a fact, but if you have no idea what they talked about, it’s a useless fact, that at most you can use to whip up more empty frenzy. And we know, it’s clickbait, and it sells papers and TV ads, but really, what are we watching, what has American journalism come to? What happened to finding evidence first, and reporting on it after?

 

 

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Dr. D 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
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  • #51622

    Salvador Dali Back the girl 1926   It wouldn’t be the first time we ask ourselves what American journalism has come to, but that question sure ap
    [See the full post at: Empty Frenzy]

    #51629

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    “American Oversight” comes ickily close to Big Brother Is Watching… with the question of whom he is watching left to an individual’s bias. He’s watching the bad guys for our protection? Or he’s watching everyone for reasons he can neither confirm nor deny?

    We Do What We’re Told

    #51630

    bosco, I’ve asked it before, but please stop putting those links to nowhere here. links are fine if they’re about what you’re saying, and not if they’re not. I’m serious, I’ll start scrubbing them now

    #51631

    So I read this thing at the Guardian that says:

    In televised hearings, US officials have outlined what Democrats claim is Trump’s extensive abuse of power, among such behaviour the move to recall the ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch

    And I’m thinking: how can doing something that’s well in your powers be classified as an “extensive abuse of power”? How does that work? As Wikipedia explains -which is what I thought-: Ambassadors serve “at the pleasure of the President”, meaning they can be dismissed at any time.

    Sometimes I think maybe it’s me that’s losing it, but not this time. This is just bottom of the barrel “journalism”, aka propaganda. And if the Dems actually made that claim the way the Guardian reports it, they are mere propagandists too.

    #51632

    Dr. D
    Participant

    Yes, and that’s what I was saying about Twitter. Every 5 seconds, 24 hours a day, reporting such things with breathless intensity and great lack of reflection. Not sure how that works since I’m not susceptible to it, but reminds me of slot machines. Why are the flashing lights interesting and emotional? I don’t know, but all these companies pay millions to psychological experts, professors even, who for $10 will use their full force for real, true evil: Madison Avenue and Silicon Valley.

    However this works, that’s why, but addicts are not hard-boiled reporters, or thinking clearly, they’re just hustling for their next, low-class, humiliating, Pop. Later on when you’re not a crack whore, you look back on it in wonder, but at the time it all seems perfectly reasonable and not too bad. Hanging out with your friends, the true believers, fightin’ the Man.

    Don’t worry it too much. Time’s almost over. They’re getting to $700B repos fast, had to push crypto-trading volumes to 5x all coins ever mined every day to contain the price, and we’re not getting crops in and they can’t print food. So get an armchair and a book by the window like we used to, as there are more practical things afoot.

    #51633

    zerosum
    Participant

    “…. according to a cache of documents released on Friday. The state department released the documents to the group American Oversight in response to a freedom of information lawsuit…..”

    Notice to all leakers and whistle blowers Pay Attention- new procedure

    Get a lawyer to set up LLP
    Get your NEW organization to request the release of info
    threaten to start a lawsuit under the freedom of info
    this is better than using “witness protection”
    this is better than hiding behind the “source” for BBC, GUARDIAN, NBC

    #51634

    zerosum
    Participant

    ‘…. get an armchair and a book by the window like we used to,”
    PLUS A QUILT TO STAY WARM.

    #51639

    TonyPrep
    Participant

    Weren’t those documents part of what the impeachment inquiry was trying to get out of the administration? If the documents contain no incriminating evidence, why was the administration refusing to release them to the committee? Trump et al are not cooperating in the least and that, itself, must raise questions, surely?

    #51640

    VietnamVet
    Participant

    The Trump Bombshell is inexplicable unless there is really any Empire and an associated supra-national global corporate trading club that controls the media and has bought all of the politicians except for fringe nationalists and populists. The Trump Triumph diminished multi-national corporate control of Republicans to only Mitt Romney. The Bush Clinton dynasties died. The purposeful “siloing” of identity politics allowed the nationalists to succeed in the USA even though President Trump is isolated, alone, in the White House fighting the Empire’s bureaucracy. The thing is Joe Biden is utterly corrupt. He restarted the Cold War so his family could get a cut of the profits. Even if the façade of democracy is shattered in 2020s with the rebirth of a new Austerian Empire in the West compose of lots of little statelets like Scotland, it will be short lived. The black swan is honking. Without détente, a nuclear war with Russia or China is inevitable. Global debt is astronomical; $246.5 trillion. If not war, there will be unrest and an economic collapse.

    Only a populist government will legislate a debt jubilee to start all over again without the decline, lost wars and destruction that has always occurred to Empires in the past.

    #51641

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    bosco, I’ve asked it before, but please stop putting those links to nowhere here. links are fine if they’re about what you’re saying, and not if they’re not. I’m serious, I’ll start scrubbing them now

    Good! I for one am fed up with that crap!
    Thanks Ilargi…

    #51642

    rapier
    Participant

    Excuse me but I think Herr Goebbels said it better. I’ll summarize his and your position.

    These ineffectual parties with all their squabbling and laws are an abomination.
    —————————————————————————————————–
    GOEBBELS ON THE REICHSTAG AND WHY THE NAZIS WANT SEATS THERE (1928)

    “We are an anti-parliamentarian party that for good reasons rejects the Weimar constitution and its republican institutions. We oppose a fake democracy that treats the intelligent and the foolish, the industrious and the lazy, in the same way. We see in the present system of majorities and organized irresponsibility the main cause of our steadily increasing miseries.

    So why do we want to be in the Reichstag?

    We enter the Reichstag to arm ourselves with the weapons of democracy. If democracy is foolish enough to give us free railway passes and salaries, that is its problem. It does not concern us. Any way of bringing about the revolution is fine by us.

    If we succeed in getting sixty or seventy of our party’s agitators and organizers elected to the various parliaments, the state itself will pay for our fighting organization. That is amusing and entertaining enough to be worth trying.

    Will we be corrupted by joining parliament? Not likely. Do you think us such miserable revolutionaries that you fear that the thick red carpets and the well-upholstered sleeping halls will make us forget our historical mission?

    Is our entry into the Reichstag the beginning of a compromise? Do you really think that we who have stood before you a hundred or a thousand times preaching faith in a new Germany, who have smilingly faced death dozens of times from the red mob, who have joined you in battling every form of resistance whether of official or nonofficial nature, who have bent before no command or terror, do you really think that we would lay down our weapons in exchange for a railroad pass?

    If we only wanted to become representatives, we would not be National Socialists, but German National Party members or Social Democrats. We do not beg for votes. We demand conviction, devotion, passion! A vote is only a tool for us as well as for you. We will march into the marble halls of parliament, bringing with us the revolutionary will of the broad masses from which we came, called by fate and forming fate. We do not want to join this pile of manure. We are coming to shovel it out.

    Do not believe that parliament is our goal. We have shown the enemy our nature from the podiums of our mass meetings and in the enormous demonstrations of our brown army. We will show it as well in the leaden atmosphere of parliament. We are coming neither as friends or neutrals. We come as enemies! As the wolf attacks the sheep, so come we. You are not among your friends any longer! You will not enjoy having us among you!”

    Goebbels on the Reichstag and why the Nazis want seats there (1928)

    #51643

    zerosum
    Participant

    Maybe this will be the final summary of the evidence that has been collected by all the different investigative reporters will finally make sense for you.
    If you need to have more than the 9 CNN experts to tell you that its has not been debunked then read the following before making up your mind and try to keep track of the actual witness and participant that were involved.

    Ukraine, Trump, Biden — The Real Story Behind “Ukrainegate”
    IN FOUR PARTS

    Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog
    November 23, 2019

    Ukraine, Trump, Biden — The Real Story Behind “Ukrainegate” 


    ” ….this is what I have found, which U.S.-and-allied news-media have conspicuously been not only ignoring but blatantly contradicting — contradicting the facts that are being documented by the evidence that is presented here. Consequently, the links in this article prove the systematic lying by America’s press, regarding Ukrainegate…..”

    #51644

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    “Giuliani talked to Pompeo” may be a fact, but if you have no idea what they talked about, it’s a useless fact, that at most you can use to whip up more empty frenzy. And we know, it’s clickbait, and it sells papers and TV ads, but really, what are we watching, what has American journalism come to? What happened to finding evidence first, and reporting on it after?

    The U.S. press is for the most part, an embarrassment (to put it mildly).
    Fortunately I grew up with Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Morrow, and a host of other reporters, not the hacks, propagandists, and stenographers purporting to actually report the news these days.
    Maintaining an informed existence today is a genuine challenge; not to mention a bit of work as well.
    As I said before, I don’t usually get into the scrum; but am always thankfull for Ilargi’s hard work breaking it all down to easily digestable facts…

    #51645

    zerosum
    Participant

    OPS!
    Hold the press. There’s another report.

    Yes, Ukraine interference in the 2016 presidential election

    Meddling in the 2016 election by Ukrainian politicians and government agencies happened. The above is true and no amount of denial is going to change that.
    By Yasha Levine

    November 23, 2019

    Ukrainian nationals didn’t just meddle on their own, they also worked with Americans — including Ukrainian-American political operatives on the payroll of the Democratic Party. Not only did all this happen, it was written up as fact by establishment papers and outlets as varied as Yahoo, Politico, and the Financial Times in 2016 on the eve of the election.
    The principle actors openly talked and bragged about their exploits in the press. And why not? Back in 2016, no one thought that Trump would win the presidency. So why bother hiding it?

    #51646

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Salvador Dali Back the girl 1926

    I’m glad I clicked the painting and enlarged it; there was a third long curl off the right shoulder that I had missed.
    That’s quite an excellent painting of the woman’s hair; and in general.

    #51658

    Dr. D
    Participant

    I think Vet nailed it. Nothing makes sense unless the arc of what he’s saying is true. Cuomo’s stunt yesterday about “overhearing” a handset telephone (in a restaurant) failed and came out like Cheeto said: you can’t overhear (don’t they check these things off-camera?). Instead of saying, as journalists, “Well, I think we’ve learned something interesting”, they said, “Ermigerd! What are you doing??? Proving the truth is helping Trump! Stop! Stop!” …Which, yes, every day, but that was a good example. If you’re journalists and not political advocates, what would you care which way it goes?

    And since they know that, wouldn’t surprise me a bit if – should they finish placing their nuclear 1st strike in Ukraine and Cheeto gets out, Russia would nuke us on inauguration day of a Mitt Romney or Kamala Harris, because the Steady State is just that dangerous and won’t stop killing people by the millions. …As we see exactly in Ukraine, with all their policies – the ones they’ll remove the President to pursue – blind and based on a Russian threat that doesn’t exist, an expansionism that doesn’t exist, and a first strike that they don’t need.

    “US Is The Biggest Source Of Instability In The World,” Says Senior Chinese Diplomat”
    “Democrats Empower a Pack of Paranoid Neocon Morons”

    Democrats Empower a Pack of Paranoid Neocon Morons

    …You had me at “Neocon morons”… Of course that Not-Neocon-in-name-only, HRC promised she’d attack Russia and start WWIII, which is what they always had planned, ‘cause it solves the debt collapse we’ll all blame them for. Oh, and those uppity peasants, we’ll kill a lot of them too, drinking champers on the castle on the hill.

    I don’t know what you can say, Tony. Okay, to request documents, you need a premise, not a fishing expedition. That’s the 4th, or in this case, separation of powers. Congress doesn’t get into every memo in the Executive branch and micromanage it. Second, their suspicion is that one Trump official once talked to another Trump official? Like how does that make sense, or probable cause? No doubt they’ll release it because it’ll be hilarious like the last 500 accusations, but if you just say “yes” to all fishing expeditions, you’re not holding the Constitution and separation of powers, and more importantly can’t get anything done. …Which is the point, of course.

    So let’s flip it:since everything should be released instantly, why don’t we release all Biden’s stuff? I mean there we even have probable cause, with a dozen check stubs and sworn affidavits of national MP’s. Yet somehow an old random phone call is demandable and impeachable but sworn testimony of a foreign parliament isn’t?

    “GOEBBELS ON THE REICHSTAG”

    Ah, AntiFa couldn’t have said it any better, but their hero Alinsky said just that in his book decades ago, and his acolytes like HRC have demonstrably followed his strategy since then, with their zealots acting in and directing government to work against the people as we see in the news today.

    Because: “Yes, Ukraine Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election!”

    Which, duh, we all knew. However, since the CIA/MI6 Steady Staters set up their $5B totally illegal coup, and turned around to attack their own government at home…they then set the definition not for just some bureaucratic mishandling felonies, but LITERAL TREASON. Ah, if only they’d kept doing it from their London Embassy office like before, but the people were increasingly voting against them, and like Goebbels, needed a big, sharp push. We’ll see. No one’s ever been prosecuted before, but if not the CIA/Ukraine/Soros bloc will remove all U.S. democracy and murder all Trump’s family, as they’ve publicly promised, and as Biden said on T.V. just last night.

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