The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

The Comey Testimony

With great fanfare, James Comey testifies today before a Senate committee using his own memos, written after meetings had occurred as "evidence" of supposed wrong-doing by Donald Trump. Needless to say, the Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media accept these memos as if they were delivered from on high. They, along with other members of the four constituencies, will cluck their tongues, frown in deep concern, and declare that Trump obstructed justice (he obviously did not—the Russian investigation proceeds without a hitch). Regardless of the facts, testimony and common sense, four constituencies are undeterred in their slow motion coup attempt.

Conservative blogger "Neo-Neocon" asks a set of quite reasonable question that should have been asked—and answered— by the vaunted "journalists" at the NYT and WaPo after they posted stories about these memos a few months ago. They weren't asked then, but they should be asked right now. Here are the questions:
Since most or all of this is based on memos rather than transcripts or recordings, and those memos have been read to the reporters over the phone [presented to the committees in open session] without being seen, how does that work? Is this unprecedented in terms of constituting the basis of a major news story by a supposedly reputable periodical? Do “officials” write these memos—supposedly containing direct quotes—from memory? Even if the person is trying to get it right (and we have no idea whether that’s the case here, or whether the person is lying through his/her teeth), when you’re dealing with a memo written after the fact, how can it be verified? Should anyone rely on memory for something as slippery as a quote? I certainly wouldn’t trust that process, even if things are being recalled in good faith, and of course we have no way to evaluate whether this memo was originally written in good faith.

Was the person reading the memo the same person who wrote the memo? How is the newspaper purporting to authenticate the memo without seeing it (for that matter, how would they authenticate such a thing even if they did see it?) Is it just that they implicitly trust their informant? And if so, why would they? With the publication of information from an anonymous informant, they are asking us to trust them, the media (and why should we?) and an unnamed informant to deliver the truth.
Whenever a government official testified in a manner that indicated that Trump, although possibly ham-handed in his meetings with them, did NOT obstruct justice or materially interfere with their work, the four constituencies refuse to accept that testimony, hoping that a smoking gun will appear out of the ether. This comment from Jonathan Tobin:
Is President Trump guilty of obstruction of justice? Not if you take the nation’s three top security officials and former FBI Director James Comey at their word — something Senate Democrats refuse to do.

The headlines about Comey’s opening statement, which he’ll give in person [today] but which was released Wednesday afternoon, focus on his claim that Trump asked him to “let it go” with respect to a criminal probe of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s lies about his conversations with the Russians.

But the very same opening statement indicates that even now, after he has been fired by Trump, Comey is still unwilling to assert that he took anything Trump said as an effort to hinder “the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign.”

Much the same was heard from National Intelligence Director Dan Coats, National Security Agency Director Admiral Michael Rogers and Acting FBI director Andrew McCabe when they testified Wednesday. Though all rightly refused to discuss confidential conversations about classified subjects and ongoing investigations with the president in a public forum, all three are on record as saying Trump hasn’t tried to undermine their work.
But the four constituencies are obsessed with undoing Trump, despite growing evidence that he did nothing wrong. And for those who argue that he demanded loyalty from government official. Do they honestly believe that past presidents didn't do the same thing? The only difference is that those presidents weren't the targets of a soft coup in which every leak, regardless of its veracity, makes the front pages and headlines the evening newscast.

The general public understands all of this and for the most part is tuning it all out.


Roger Simon comments on the on-going Comey Testimony:
... what's really going on here? "Fear and loathing," as the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson would say, mixed with envy, contempt and the unbridled lust for power. The actors, bad ones in this instance, known as U.S. senators, are grandstanding for the most obvious of reasons -- to prevent Trump from governing and getting any of his programs enacted. This is particularly true of the Democrats who are out to get the president at any cost, even when he is advocating for things that they might have, or indeed have, advocated for themselves on numerous occasions. That's how corrupt they are. But it's worse, because the Democratic scandals like the seemingly swept-under-the-rug misuse of the IRS by the Obama administration are far more dangerous to our republic, not to mention criminal, than any of this who-said-what-to-whom silliness. That any Republicans are going along with this absurd dog-and-pony show is in itself mindboggling. But they are. (This should not be forgotten.)

Almost everyone knows this whole investigation is a fraud -- that if there were a Trump-Russia connection of any substance it would have been uncovered months ago -- but they continue and continue... by any means necessary.

So what you are watching in the Senate hearings on Thursday -- if you are watching (and I'm not sure you should) -- amidst the unending parsing of words, repetition of questions asked a hundred times before, and tedious media recaps of information readily available last August is an absolute waste of U.S. taxpayer time and money. Every second spent on this interminable nonsense is a second that could be spent infinitely more productively solving one of the nation's and the world's increasingly serious problems.
Critical thinking is in short supply. Everything Trump has been leaked by anti_Trump forces in the government. For god's sake, they leaked the fact that he demanded two soft drinks when his dinner guests got one! And that was a BIG story.

Can any rational person believe that if there was evidence of collusion or obstruction or whatever, it would have been leaked to the NYT of WaPo or CNN, or ABC or any other anti-Trump media organization long before now. There's only one reason why there have been no substantive "smoking gun" leaks. Because there is no evidence of wrong-doing -- none.