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Glenn Greenwald’s interesting take on Michael Flynn prosecution

 
lynmc
 
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lynmc
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21 May 2020 13:03
 
Twissel - 18 May 2020 03:32 AM

How is it a coercion to offer not to prosecute his son (34) if I said son committed crimes, too?
A little bit of advice: if you don’t want your son to get prosecuted, maybe don’t commit crimes with him.

Cohen was offered the deal not to prosecute his wife (who co-signed some of his deals) if he pleaded guilty.
Where was Greenwald then?
This is 100% SOP, and none of the Trump hacks are against it unless it hits one of them - typical corruption. Flynn thought he was above the law, and your outrage is that he wasn’t treated as being above the law.

And no, Flynn never rescinded his work for Turkey, mostly because he never registered as a foreign agent - another crime the FBI was willing to drop in return for cooperation and a plea to lying to the FBI.

Can we really not do some vetting of the person with the highest security clearance in the country?
Seriously, you clearly don’t give a fuck about national security.

And Greenwald is not rated “highly factual” - he writes editorials, not investigative piece.

Where is your outrage at the widespread prosecutorial conduct in this country, where probably thousands of innocent people plead guilty to lesser crimes, so as not to risk the long trials with uncertain outcomes, long sentences?  Glenn Greenwald believes this is just one example, but his outrage is aimed at the common prosecutorial coercion.  He does agree that Flynn violated the FARA rules (for which he wasn’t prosecuted), but apparently, this act is quite commonly skirted or ignored by Washington “consultants”.

As for whether Greenwald is rated highly factual, you’re surely stretching the truth to say he isn’t.  When rating a site, mediabiasfactcheck rates articles, not just investigative pieces, and it would surely rate articles by one of the founders and main contributors of the site in making the judgement.

Flynn’s contract with Turkey ended the day after Trump was elected (this according to NBC news).  There’s no need to rescind something that ends anyway.  Once again, you’ve failed to fact check your made-up claims.

 
lynmc
 
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lynmc
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21 May 2020 13:44
 
Poldano - 20 May 2020 11:52 PM
Antisocialdarwinist - 20 May 2020 03:48 PM
Poldano - 20 May 2020 01:16 AM
Antisocialdarwinist - 19 May 2020 02:55 PM

...

Also, keep in mind the nature of the coercion. For example, from the Taibbi article:

In a secrets-laundering maneuver straight out of the Dick Cheney playbook, some bright person first illegally leaked classified details to David Ignatius at the Washington Post, then agents rushed to interview Flynn about the “news.”

“The record of his conversation with Ambassador Kislyak had become widely known in the press,” is how Deputy FBI chief Andrew McCabe put it, euphemistically. “We wanted to sit down with General Flynn and understand, kind of, what his thoughts on that conversation were.”

Illegally leaking classified documents as part of a coercive elicitation scheme doesn’t strike me as “standard operating procedure” that “happens in every kind of criminal case.”

I think you can find examples of manipulative leaking in many criminal cases. These will primarily be those that have some kind of political baggage or celebrity involvement, but they are by no means uniquely so. I venture to say that the more news-worthy the case, the more likely that information that should not be public knowledge will be leaked. Note that I am not saying that every criminal case’s information is leaked, or that every kind of criminal case is equally likely to have its information leaked. I speculate that the leaks you mention may have been preemptive in nature, in the expectation that someone else would leak information about the Flynn interview and thereby gain a slightly greater measure of control over the publicity.

“Manipulative leaking” doesn’t quite capture what the FBI did in this case. They leaked classified information. Information only they had access to. Which begs the question: who else would have leaked that same information, thus prompting the FBI to do so preemptively? Remember, the classified information wasn’t from Flynn’s interview, it was from a phone conversation with the Russian ambassador, which the FBI was listening in on. They leaked said classified details to the press, then used the press’s coverage of them to justify the subsequent interview with Flynn. All the while knowing that there was a very slim likelihood that any crime had been committed by Flynn, but hoping he’d nevertheless lie about what he’d discussed with the ambassador.

Does it really sound like the leak was merely “preemptive in nature” to you?

If that’s not abuse of power, I don’t know what is.

It is an abuse of power, if the information was classified. The question that immediately follows is whether it was justified.

I had, and still have, a suspicion that Donald Trump has been compromised by Russia. If I had this suspicion, it is reasonable to assume that the FBI, whose “business model” with respect to national security issues is based upon suspicion, would be suspicious as well. Moreover, Trump’s SOP, attack at the first sign of opposition, was well known to the FBI, since it had been at least peripherally involved with investigating his financial shenanigans for around 30 years by 2016. The FBI could expect that questioning Flynn, even in secret, without some public knowledge of why they were doing so would result in an extreme public castigation by Trump, more extreme than actually occurred. A public rumor of inappropriate contact by Flynn would provide some political cover to the FBI for their actions. This, in my opinion, is actually what happened.

If Trump indeed has been compromised by Russia, then any question of apparent political bias in the FBI’s actions are irrelevant, as is any major concern about it’s abuse of classified information. If national security is involved, then even Trump’s position is that any and all exercises of power, up to and including torture, are allowable. There is an argument that U.S. citizens should not be subject to surveillance to the same degree that foreign nationals may be, but that policy has the air of “hiding behind the flag” where treason is concerned. If Trump took the oath of office as President of the United States while knowingly under any kind of personal or financial pressure from a foreign power, then treason is not off the table. With stakes like these, then any final judgment on whether the FBI’s abuse of power in releasing classified information during the Flynn investigation must wait until all the relevant information becomes public. That starts with hanging all of Trump’s financial laundry on the metaphorical public clothesline.

I’ve taken the discussion far beyond the specific Flynn case, because Flynn was only a bit player who apparently moved in some international diplomatic circles and consequently raised suspicions among our diligent professional paranoiacs. I do not regret doing this; the issue with Flynn was always as a way of getting information on Trump’s secrets.

 

Yes, you could be right, the real target was Trump.  To me, it hardly matters whether Trump was compromised by Russia at this point, what with his self-aggrandizement, graft and incompetence he does as much harm as he could do if he had treasonous intent.  On the other hand, treason (if proved & you could convince his supporters it wasn’t fake news) would be more likely to lose him political support.

Also, one of the attributes of Glenn Greenwald’s critiques is that they emphasize part of the context of an issue rather than the whole thing. Turning the issue around concerning the case of Edward Snowden, did Snowden abuse his power by releasing information that he took an oath not to reveal? Are individuals exempt from restrictions that organizations are not exempt from? If only a single member of the FBI released classified information, would he be under the same aegis of exemption as Edward Snowden? Was Snowden justified because his information was not about an individual and therefore not a violation of individual privacy? Expanding somewhat, what are the ethics of situations when they involve sovereign entities that do not abide by each others ethical rules? Etc., etc.

The information Snowden released was evidence of governmental abuse of power, namely, unwarranted invasion of privacy.  The leak regarding Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak was no such thing, unless you regard intercepting conversations of foreign diplomat from hostile countries as an invasion of their privacy.  I would judge the ethics of breaking laws or agreements to hold secrets in the light of whether one is revealing crimes or abuses.  It should be noted, of course, that to some Flynn was abusing his position in the Trump camp by undermining Obama’s policy, nevertheless, the two cases seem entirely different.

 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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Antisocialdarwinist
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21 May 2020 15:02
 
Poldano - 20 May 2020 11:52 PM
Antisocialdarwinist - 20 May 2020 03:48 PM
Poldano - 20 May 2020 01:16 AM
Antisocialdarwinist - 19 May 2020 02:55 PM

...

Also, keep in mind the nature of the coercion. For example, from the Taibbi article:

In a secrets-laundering maneuver straight out of the Dick Cheney playbook, some bright person first illegally leaked classified details to David Ignatius at the Washington Post, then agents rushed to interview Flynn about the “news.”

“The record of his conversation with Ambassador Kislyak had become widely known in the press,” is how Deputy FBI chief Andrew McCabe put it, euphemistically. “We wanted to sit down with General Flynn and understand, kind of, what his thoughts on that conversation were.”

Illegally leaking classified documents as part of a coercive elicitation scheme doesn’t strike me as “standard operating procedure” that “happens in every kind of criminal case.”

I think you can find examples of manipulative leaking in many criminal cases. These will primarily be those that have some kind of political baggage or celebrity involvement, but they are by no means uniquely so. I venture to say that the more news-worthy the case, the more likely that information that should not be public knowledge will be leaked. Note that I am not saying that every criminal case’s information is leaked, or that every kind of criminal case is equally likely to have its information leaked. I speculate that the leaks you mention may have been preemptive in nature, in the expectation that someone else would leak information about the Flynn interview and thereby gain a slightly greater measure of control over the publicity.

“Manipulative leaking” doesn’t quite capture what the FBI did in this case. They leaked classified information. Information only they had access to. Which begs the question: who else would have leaked that same information, thus prompting the FBI to do so preemptively? Remember, the classified information wasn’t from Flynn’s interview, it was from a phone conversation with the Russian ambassador, which the FBI was listening in on. They leaked said classified details to the press, then used the press’s coverage of them to justify the subsequent interview with Flynn. All the while knowing that there was a very slim likelihood that any crime had been committed by Flynn, but hoping he’d nevertheless lie about what he’d discussed with the ambassador.

Does it really sound like the leak was merely “preemptive in nature” to you?

If that’s not abuse of power, I don’t know what is.

It is an abuse of power, if the information was classified. The question that immediately follows is whether it was justified…

Which makes you the aforementioned “‘end-justifies-the-means’ partisan hack.”

 
 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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21 May 2020 22:28
 
lynmc - 21 May 2020 01:03 PM
Twissel - 18 May 2020 03:32 AM

How is it a coercion to offer not to prosecute his son (34) if I said son committed crimes, too?
A little bit of advice: if you don’t want your son to get prosecuted, maybe don’t commit crimes with him.

Cohen was offered the deal not to prosecute his wife (who co-signed some of his deals) if he pleaded guilty.
Where was Greenwald then?
This is 100% SOP, and none of the Trump hacks are against it unless it hits one of them - typical corruption. Flynn thought he was above the law, and your outrage is that he wasn’t treated as being above the law.

And no, Flynn never rescinded his work for Turkey, mostly because he never registered as a foreign agent - another crime the FBI was willing to drop in return for cooperation and a plea to lying to the FBI.

Can we really not do some vetting of the person with the highest security clearance in the country?
Seriously, you clearly don’t give a fuck about national security.

And Greenwald is not rated “highly factual” - he writes editorials, not investigative piece.

Where is your outrage at the widespread prosecutorial conduct in this country, where probably thousands of innocent people plead guilty to lesser crimes, so as not to risk the long trials with uncertain outcomes, long sentences?  Glenn Greenwald believes this is just one example, but his outrage is aimed at the common prosecutorial coercion.  He does agree that Flynn violated the FARA rules (for which he wasn’t prosecuted), but apparently, this act is quite commonly skirted or ignored by Washington “consultants”.

As for whether Greenwald is rated highly factual, you’re surely stretching the truth to say he isn’t.  When rating a site, mediabiasfactcheck rates articles, not just investigative pieces, and it would surely rate articles by one of the founders and main contributors of the site in making the judgement.

Flynn’s contract with Turkey ended the day after Trump was elected (this according to NBC news).  There’s no need to rescind something that ends anyway.  Once again, you’ve failed to fact check your made-up claims.


If prosecutorial overreach is your concern, the Flynn case is pretty much the last hill you would want to die on.
Barr has made it very clear that he is against any reform that would limit his ability to push defendants hard. And, of course, the GOP has been defunding the Judiciary whenever it could, with the result that Pleas are the only way for the system to limp along instead of coming to a halt.
It is utterly dishonest to claim that there is any principle in the defense of Flynn except that he is “one of our guys” and therefore “deserves better” than the average defendant.

 
 
Poldano
 
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Poldano
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21 May 2020 22:45
 
Antisocialdarwinist - 21 May 2020 03:02 PM
Poldano - 20 May 2020 11:52 PM

...

It is an abuse of power, if the information was classified. The question that immediately follows is whether it was justified…

Which makes you the aforementioned “‘end-justifies-the-means’ partisan hack.”

Getting a bit close to an ad hominem claim there, aren’t we?

I think reading my entire post, as others have done, will clarify the limits of partisanship that I can be accused of. How do you combat the ultimate mole, after all, if there are no strictly legal means to do so?

As for being a hack, if that means I don’t know a solution to the question I just posed, then I admit that it is an accurate appraisal. Try to take into my consideration my comment concerning dealing with sovereigns who do not share one’s ethical basis; this of course is equivalent, or nearly so, to an “ends justifies means” principle. Dealing with such parties with the expectation that they will play fair is a near guarantee of defeat, at least in the short term.

 
 
lynmc
 
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lynmc
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21 May 2020 23:06
 
Twissel - 21 May 2020 10:28 PM
lynmc - 21 May 2020 01:03 PM
Twissel - 18 May 2020 03:32 AM

How is it a coercion to offer not to prosecute his son (34) if I said son committed crimes, too?
A little bit of advice: if you don’t want your son to get prosecuted, maybe don’t commit crimes with him.

Cohen was offered the deal not to prosecute his wife (who co-signed some of his deals) if he pleaded guilty.
Where was Greenwald then?
This is 100% SOP, and none of the Trump hacks are against it unless it hits one of them - typical corruption. Flynn thought he was above the law, and your outrage is that he wasn’t treated as being above the law.

And no, Flynn never rescinded his work for Turkey, mostly because he never registered as a foreign agent - another crime the FBI was willing to drop in return for cooperation and a plea to lying to the FBI.

Can we really not do some vetting of the person with the highest security clearance in the country?
Seriously, you clearly don’t give a fuck about national security.

And Greenwald is not rated “highly factual” - he writes editorials, not investigative piece.

Where is your outrage at the widespread prosecutorial conduct in this country, where probably thousands of innocent people plead guilty to lesser crimes, so as not to risk the long trials with uncertain outcomes, long sentences?  Glenn Greenwald believes this is just one example, but his outrage is aimed at the common prosecutorial coercion.  He does agree that Flynn violated the FARA rules (for which he wasn’t prosecuted), but apparently, this act is quite commonly skirted or ignored by Washington “consultants”.

As for whether Greenwald is rated highly factual, you’re surely stretching the truth to say he isn’t.  When rating a site, mediabiasfactcheck rates articles, not just investigative pieces, and it would surely rate articles by one of the founders and main contributors of the site in making the judgement.

Flynn’s contract with Turkey ended the day after Trump was elected (this according to NBC news).  There’s no need to rescind something that ends anyway.  Once again, you’ve failed to fact check your made-up claims.


If prosecutorial overreach is your concern, the Flynn case is pretty much the last hill you would want to die on.
Barr has made it very clear that he is against any reform that would limit his ability to push defendants hard. And, of course, the GOP has been defunding the Judiciary whenever it could, with the result that Pleas are the only way for the system to limp along instead of coming to a halt.
It is utterly dishonest to claim that there is any principle in the defense of Flynn except that he is “one of our guys” and therefore “deserves better” than the average defendant.

Flynn may be one of your guys (he seems to align with you ideologically being all pro-aggressive war, pro-national security etc.), but in as far as political ideology, when was he ever one of mine or Glenn Greenwald’s guys?

 
Poldano
 
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Poldano
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21 May 2020 23:10
 
lynmc - 21 May 2020 01:44 PM
Poldano - 20 May 2020 11:52 PM

,,,

Also, one of the attributes of Glenn Greenwald’s critiques is that they emphasize part of the context of an issue rather than the whole thing. Turning the issue around concerning the case of Edward Snowden, did Snowden abuse his power by releasing information that he took an oath not to reveal? Are individuals exempt from restrictions that organizations are not exempt from? If only a single member of the FBI released classified information, would he be under the same aegis of exemption as Edward Snowden? Was Snowden justified because his information was not about an individual and therefore not a violation of individual privacy? Expanding somewhat, what are the ethics of situations when they involve sovereign entities that do not abide by each others ethical rules? Etc., etc.

The information Snowden released was evidence of governmental abuse of power, namely, unwarranted invasion of privacy.  The leak regarding Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak was no such thing, unless you regard intercepting conversations of foreign diplomat from hostile countries as an invasion of their privacy.  I would judge the ethics of breaking laws or agreements to hold secrets in the light of whether one is revealing crimes or abuses.  It should be noted, of course, that to some Flynn was abusing his position in the Trump camp by undermining Obama’s policy, nevertheless, the two cases seem entirely different.

The cases are very different, but I was trying to determine exactly what the significant differences are. It is not sufficient for me to say that it’s OK to violate confidentiality if the purpose is to expose government wrongdoing, and not if it’s to expose individual wrongdoing. So, my questions were intended to try to elicit what others think are the significant differences that make Snowden’s actions not so bad and the FBI’s actions with respect to Flynn quite bad. Your position seems to be that exposition of systematic government wrongdoing is a more justifiable end than exposing a one-time violation of protocol or using the threat of that exposure to elicit leverage in the form of a publicity-avoiding lie. Alternatively, you could be saying that individuals with stated intents of exposing institutional wrongdoing and fewer protections from retribution is more justifiable than any institutional violations of law or protocol.

 
 
Q
 
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Q
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22 May 2020 08:30
 

Trump/Barr et al seem to be driving this “innocence” theory re Flynn/themselves on the notion that someone on the list of “unmask requesters” were likely the leakers. Of course, Biden was top of the list, as that appears to be Trumps dogged tactic akin to Ukraine of smearing Biden. I even saw one right wing article that points to Obama. Trump realizes that he’s running against Biden-Obama. It turns out that Flynn’s name was never redacted (masked), apparently, because there was already another active investigation thread of Flynn, I. e., he didn’t meet the usual masking requirement. Trump has made much of Ambassador Rice’s memo implying that it would demonstrate some type of conspiracy. However, the memo sounded pretty benign, above board and professional upon its release yesterday. Now, it appears that an appeals court has requested Judge Sullivan to issue some kind of report to them within ten days. These amicus briefs and Gleeson’s input which Sullivan invited are crucial to understanding this case and will help document the record regardless of where the case comes down in the end.

So, I admit bias but I have to figure, whose intelligence and justice departments am I going to lean toward as likely the more honest and truthful, Trump’s or Obama’s? Which President is the more credible? Is Judge Sullivan a conspirator or one of the last vestiges of defense for the rule of law and democracy in our country? Beyond a reasonable, doubt, I know where I stand.

 

 

 
lynmc
 
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lynmc
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22 May 2020 09:31
 
Poldano - 21 May 2020 11:10 PM
lynmc - 21 May 2020 01:44 PM
Poldano - 20 May 2020 11:52 PM

,,,

Also, one of the attributes of Glenn Greenwald’s critiques is that they emphasize part of the context of an issue rather than the whole thing. Turning the issue around concerning the case of Edward Snowden, did Snowden abuse his power by releasing information that he took an oath not to reveal? Are individuals exempt from restrictions that organizations are not exempt from? If only a single member of the FBI released classified information, would he be under the same aegis of exemption as Edward Snowden? Was Snowden justified because his information was not about an individual and therefore not a violation of individual privacy? Expanding somewhat, what are the ethics of situations when they involve sovereign entities that do not abide by each others ethical rules? Etc., etc.

The information Snowden released was evidence of governmental abuse of power, namely, unwarranted invasion of privacy.  The leak regarding Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak was no such thing, unless you regard intercepting conversations of foreign diplomat from hostile countries as an invasion of their privacy.  I would judge the ethics of breaking laws or agreements to hold secrets in the light of whether one is revealing crimes or abuses.  It should be noted, of course, that to some Flynn was abusing his position in the Trump camp by undermining Obama’s policy, nevertheless, the two cases seem entirely different.

The cases are very different, but I was trying to determine exactly what the significant differences are. It is not sufficient for me to say that it’s OK to violate confidentiality if the purpose is to expose government wrongdoing, and not if it’s to expose individual wrongdoing. So, my questions were intended to try to elicit what others think are the significant differences that make Snowden’s actions not so bad and the FBI’s actions with respect to Flynn quite bad. Your position seems to be that exposition of systematic government wrongdoing is a more justifiable end than exposing a one-time violation of protocol or using the threat of that exposure to elicit leverage in the form of a publicity-avoiding lie. Alternatively, you could be saying that individuals with stated intents of exposing institutional wrongdoing and fewer protections from retribution is more justifiable than any institutional violations of law or protocol.

Ok, I get your point.  Greenwald makes a good case that the Flynn leak didn’t actually reveal much wrongdoing, there wasn’t much wrong in Flynn reassuring Kislyak regarding what the incoming administration would be doing regarding Obama’s sanctions.  Democrats & co puffed up any wrongdoing for partisan political reasons.  Of course the leak itself doesn’t seem too serious a legal violation either, Flynn & I’m sure Kislyak and anyone else knew the intelligence agencies monitor such conversations.

It could be an interesting ethical dilemma, but I don’t think the Flynn case is a good example of breaking laws or contractual confidentiality to reveal wrongdoing by an individual.

 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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Antisocialdarwinist
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22 May 2020 14:28
 
Poldano - 21 May 2020 10:45 PM
Antisocialdarwinist - 21 May 2020 03:02 PM
Poldano - 20 May 2020 11:52 PM

...

It is an abuse of power, if the information was classified. The question that immediately follows is whether it was justified…

Which makes you the aforementioned “‘end-justifies-the-means’ partisan hack.”

Getting a bit close to an ad hominem claim there, aren’t we?

I think reading my entire post, as others have done, will clarify the limits of partisanship that I can be accused of. How do you combat the ultimate mole, after all, if there are no strictly legal means to do so?

As for being a hack, if that means I don’t know a solution to the question I just posed, then I admit that it is an accurate appraisal. Try to take into my consideration my comment concerning dealing with sovereigns who do not share one’s ethical basis; this of course is equivalent, or nearly so, to an “ends justifies means” principle. Dealing with such parties with the expectation that they will play fair is a near guarantee of defeat, at least in the short term.

Not at all. Clearly you’re taking the position that the end justifies the means (you admitted that in the part of your post that I quoted). So that’s obviously not an ad hominem, it’s just an accurate description of your position.

As for being a partisan hack, your position rests entirely on your “suspicion” that Trump is a Russian mole, despite the Mueller report making clear that there is no evidence for it. (Without evidence, what forms the basis for your suspicion? Answer: your preexisting, partisan biases and beliefs.) Based on this “suspicion,” you’re okay with the FBI abusing its power to catch the “ultimate mole.” Would you take the same position with respect to Hillary? No hard evidence of corruption, but millions of Trump supporters are nevertheless just as convinced by circumstantial evidence that she was corrupt as you’re convinced that Trump is the “ultimate mole.” Should the FBI abuse its power to try and find hard evidence against her that might or might not exist?

Yes, yes, I know: The Mueller report also pointed out multiple cases of obstruction of justice. If not for the obstruction, they’d have found the evidence, right? Just like your (partisan hack) counterparts on the right are convinced that the evidence against Hillary exists in those 30,000 emails she destroyed instead of turning over to the FBI. I’m sure they’d be perfectly happy to see the FBI abuse its power to get her thrown in jail.

But maybe I’ve read you wrong. Maybe you’d be fine with the FBI abusing its power in order to get Hillary locked up, too. A pox on both their houses. If that’s the case, then I’m mistaken about you being a partisan hack and I owe you an apology. But if you’re okay with the FBI abusing its power against one party but not the other, then “partisan hack” isn’t an ad hominem, it’s an accurate description of you.

 
 
Poldano
 
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Poldano
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23 May 2020 03:19
 
Antisocialdarwinist - 22 May 2020 02:28 PM
Poldano - 21 May 2020 10:45 PM
Antisocialdarwinist - 21 May 2020 03:02 PM
Poldano - 20 May 2020 11:52 PM

...

It is an abuse of power, if the information was classified. The question that immediately follows is whether it was justified…

Which makes you the aforementioned “‘end-justifies-the-means’ partisan hack.”

Getting a bit close to an ad hominem claim there, aren’t we?

I think reading my entire post, as others have done, will clarify the limits of partisanship that I can be accused of. How do you combat the ultimate mole, after all, if there are no strictly legal means to do so?

As for being a hack, if that means I don’t know a solution to the question I just posed, then I admit that it is an accurate appraisal. Try to take into my consideration my comment concerning dealing with sovereigns who do not share one’s ethical basis; this of course is equivalent, or nearly so, to an “ends justifies means” principle. Dealing with such parties with the expectation that they will play fair is a near guarantee of defeat, at least in the short term.

Not at all. Clearly you’re taking the position that the end justifies the means (you admitted that in the part of your post that I quoted). So that’s obviously not an ad hominem, it’s just an accurate description of your position.

As for being a partisan hack, your position rests entirely on your “suspicion” that Trump is a Russian mole, despite the Mueller report making clear that there is no evidence for it. (Without evidence, what forms the basis for your suspicion? Answer: your preexisting, partisan biases and beliefs.) Based on this “suspicion,” you’re okay with the FBI abusing its power to catch the “ultimate mole.” Would you take the same position with respect to Hillary? No hard evidence of corruption, but millions of Trump supporters are nevertheless just as convinced by circumstantial evidence that she was corrupt as you’re convinced that Trump is the “ultimate mole.” Should the FBI abuse its power to try and find hard evidence against her that might or might not exist?

Yes, yes, I know: The Mueller report also pointed out multiple cases of obstruction of justice. If not for the obstruction, they’d have found the evidence, right? Just like your (partisan hack) counterparts on the right are convinced that the evidence against Hillary exists in those 30,000 emails she destroyed instead of turning over to the FBI. I’m sure they’d be perfectly happy to see the FBI abuse its power to get her thrown in jail.

But maybe I’ve read you wrong. Maybe you’d be fine with the FBI abusing its power in order to get Hillary locked up, too. A pox on both their houses. If that’s the case, then I’m mistaken about you being a partisan hack and I owe you an apology. But if you’re okay with the FBI abusing its power against one party but not the other, then “partisan hack” isn’t an ad hominem, it’s an accurate description of you.

The Mueller report did not find evidence that Trump interacted with Russians in their various efforts to support his candidacy. I don’t believe the Mueller Commission ever looked into the issue of possible compromise that was based on Trump’s actions prior to his candidacy. My suspicions are based on his secretiveness with respect to his tax returns and general financial dealings, rumors of loans and considerations from institutions connected with the Russian government or Russian oligarchs, and his refusal to allow any witnesses to private discussions with Vladimir Putin, apart from Putin’s translator. Clearly, these are not illegal actions, but they do not serve to reduce suspicion.

I probably wouldn’t be all that upset about the FBI doing the same thing to Democratic appointees. If the appointee is stupid enough to, first, not reveal skeletons in their closet and, secondly, to lie under oath about actions that might have been recorded, they are probably not suitable for a high-level government position. If they cannot weather the storm of partisan bashing, it’s probably better that a less controversial candidate be found. I say this with the belief that there exists a viable strategy of treating appointee candidates much as successive negotiating positions are treated.

As I believe I stated previously, my concern at the national security level is the extreme difficulty of detecting a deep mole with privileged protections. With respect to that instance as well as generally, I believe that there is a stronger case to be made for “ends justifying means” ethics in dealings with those who are not members of one’s ethical “in group” than for those who are. Sovereigns are almost by definition not in each others’ ethical “in groups”, because the only enforcement of ethical violation is the self-interested action of other sovereigns, with whom they are always in zero-sum conflict.

 
 
Twissel
 
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23 May 2020 21:16
 
lynmc - 21 May 2020 11:06 PM

Flynn may be one of your guys (he seems to align with you ideologically being all pro-aggressive war, pro-national security etc.), but in as far as political ideology, when was he ever one of mine or Glenn Greenwald’s guys?


Greenwald, like Flynn, is a Clinton/Obama hater.

 

 
 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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Antisocialdarwinist
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23 May 2020 21:18
 
Poldano - 23 May 2020 03:19 AM
Antisocialdarwinist - 22 May 2020 02:28 PM
Poldano - 21 May 2020 10:45 PM
Antisocialdarwinist - 21 May 2020 03:02 PM
Poldano - 20 May 2020 11:52 PM

...

It is an abuse of power, if the information was classified. The question that immediately follows is whether it was justified…

Which makes you the aforementioned “‘end-justifies-the-means’ partisan hack.”

Getting a bit close to an ad hominem claim there, aren’t we?

I think reading my entire post, as others have done, will clarify the limits of partisanship that I can be accused of. How do you combat the ultimate mole, after all, if there are no strictly legal means to do so?

As for being a hack, if that means I don’t know a solution to the question I just posed, then I admit that it is an accurate appraisal. Try to take into my consideration my comment concerning dealing with sovereigns who do not share one’s ethical basis; this of course is equivalent, or nearly so, to an “ends justifies means” principle. Dealing with such parties with the expectation that they will play fair is a near guarantee of defeat, at least in the short term.

Not at all. Clearly you’re taking the position that the end justifies the means (you admitted that in the part of your post that I quoted). So that’s obviously not an ad hominem, it’s just an accurate description of your position.

As for being a partisan hack, your position rests entirely on your “suspicion” that Trump is a Russian mole, despite the Mueller report making clear that there is no evidence for it. (Without evidence, what forms the basis for your suspicion? Answer: your preexisting, partisan biases and beliefs.) Based on this “suspicion,” you’re okay with the FBI abusing its power to catch the “ultimate mole.” Would you take the same position with respect to Hillary? No hard evidence of corruption, but millions of Trump supporters are nevertheless just as convinced by circumstantial evidence that she was corrupt as you’re convinced that Trump is the “ultimate mole.” Should the FBI abuse its power to try and find hard evidence against her that might or might not exist?

Yes, yes, I know: The Mueller report also pointed out multiple cases of obstruction of justice. If not for the obstruction, they’d have found the evidence, right? Just like your (partisan hack) counterparts on the right are convinced that the evidence against Hillary exists in those 30,000 emails she destroyed instead of turning over to the FBI. I’m sure they’d be perfectly happy to see the FBI abuse its power to get her thrown in jail.

But maybe I’ve read you wrong. Maybe you’d be fine with the FBI abusing its power in order to get Hillary locked up, too. A pox on both their houses. If that’s the case, then I’m mistaken about you being a partisan hack and I owe you an apology. But if you’re okay with the FBI abusing its power against one party but not the other, then “partisan hack” isn’t an ad hominem, it’s an accurate description of you.

The Mueller report did not find evidence that Trump interacted with Russians in their various efforts to support his candidacy. I don’t believe the Mueller Commission ever looked into the issue of possible compromise that was based on Trump’s actions prior to his candidacy. My suspicions are based on his secretiveness with respect to his tax returns and general financial dealings, rumors of loans and considerations from institutions connected with the Russian government or Russian oligarchs, and his refusal to allow any witnesses to private discussions with Vladimir Putin, apart from Putin’s translator. Clearly, these are not illegal actions, but they do not serve to reduce suspicion.

I probably wouldn’t be all that upset about the FBI doing the same thing to Democratic appointees. If the appointee is stupid enough to, first, not reveal skeletons in their closet and, secondly, to lie under oath about actions that might have been recorded, they are probably not suitable for a high-level government position. If they cannot weather the storm of partisan bashing, it’s probably better that a less controversial candidate be found. I say this with the belief that there exists a viable strategy of treating appointee candidates much as successive negotiating positions are treated.

As I believe I stated previously, my concern at the national security level is the extreme difficulty of detecting a deep mole with privileged protections. With respect to that instance as well as generally, I believe that there is a stronger case to be made for “ends justifying means” ethics in dealings with those who are not members of one’s ethical “in group” than for those who are. Sovereigns are almost by definition not in each others’ ethical “in groups”, because the only enforcement of ethical violation is the self-interested action of other sovereigns, with whom they are always in zero-sum conflict.

Keep in mind that the “end” that the FBI was pursuing wasn’t convicting Flynn, but rather coercing him to rat out Trump. You’re drifting from your original position here, which was about getting the “ultimate mole,” by which I assume you mean the elected president, not Flynn the appointee. Flynn was “merely a means” to getting Trump.

(Which begs the question: what specifically are you afraid Trump is going to do in his role as this “ultimate mole?” Has he already done it? If not, what is he waiting for?)

We’re going to have to agree to disagree here. I don’t think the nature of a “suspected” crime warrants abuse of power, especially since “suspicions” stem more from biases and beliefs than facts and evidence. I don’t find any of the justifications for your suspicions in the least convincing. I’m skeptical of your claim that you “probably wouldn’t be all that upset about the FBI doing the same thing to Democratic appointees.” Because I don’t think a Democratic “appointee” (or president) would ever raise your suspicion—your suspicion stemming more from your biases than from facts and evidence.

And justifying the abuse of power on the basis of ethical “in groups” seems xenophobic to me, although I confess I’m having a hard time even understanding what that last paragraph of yours is supposed to mean. Is the abuse of power justified when pursuing Muslims because they’re not in your ethical “in group?”

There is no justification for abuse of power. Period.

 
 
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23 May 2020 22:54
 
Antisocialdarwinist - 23 May 2020 09:18 PM

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Keep in mind that the “end” that the FBI was pursuing wasn’t convicting Flynn, but rather coercing him to rat out Trump. You’re drifting from your original position here, which was about getting the “ultimate mole,” by which I assume you mean the elected president, not Flynn the appointee. Flynn was “merely a means” to getting Trump.

I haven’t forgotten it at all. My response was to the sub-plot, as it were, specifically involving Flynn.

Antisocialdarwinist - 23 May 2020 09:18 PM

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(Which begs the question: what specifically are you afraid Trump is going to do in his role as this “ultimate mole?” Has he already done it? If not, what is he waiting for?)

He’s already done quite a bit of it, but there is more yet to be done. For example, Russia has a long-term interest in neutralizing, dissolving, or controlling the NATO alliance. Trump seems to already have helped this to come to be, but the end result has not yet been achieved. In general, Trump dislikes alliances, and Russia is very much in favor of the U.S. having fewer and less effective alliances, on general geopolitical principles.

Antisocialdarwinist - 23 May 2020 09:18 PM

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We’re going to have to agree to disagree here. I don’t think the nature of a “suspected” crime warrants abuse of power, especially since “suspicions” stem more from biases and beliefs than facts and evidence. I don’t find any of the justifications for your suspicions in the least convincing. I’m skeptical of your claim that you “probably wouldn’t be all that upset about the FBI doing the same thing to Democratic appointees.” Because I don’t think a Democratic “appointee” (or president) would ever raise your suspicion—your suspicion stemming more from your biases than from facts and evidence.

And justifying the abuse of power on the basis of ethical “in groups” seems xenophobic to me, although I confess I’m having a hard time even understanding what that last paragraph of yours is supposed to mean. Is the abuse of power justified when pursuing Muslims because they’re not in your ethical “in group?”

I haven’t completely made up my mind about this. My concerns relate to relationships between sovereigns, who in our time are mostly nation-states, or subsets of nations comprising distinct states. My opinion is that nation-states have no other higher authority to enforce “ethical” behavior among them, and so do not have individual responsibility to behave ethically with respect to each other. This does not hold for nation-states in alliances or agreements with each other, because participants formally agree to limit the scope of their sovereignty to some degree and with respect to some kinds of interests. Individuals who become directly involved with sovereigns, as for instance heads of government and their appointees, may sacrifice some degree of ethical protection due to them as individuals because of their government role. This is in principle similar to, but not exactly identical to, the constraints on behavior placed on corporate officers and holders of security clearances. The similarities include an implicit loss of some degree of privacy, even with respect to actions ostensibly unrelated to their regulated roles.

Antisocialdarwinist - 23 May 2020 09:18 PM

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There is no justification for abuse of power. Period.

Easy to say. Hard to do when your existence is on the line.

 
 
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24 May 2020 10:02
 
Twissel - 23 May 2020 09:16 PM
lynmc - 21 May 2020 11:06 PM

Flynn may be one of your guys (he seems to align with you ideologically being all pro-aggressive war, pro-national security etc.), but in as far as political ideology, when was he ever one of mine or Glenn Greenwald’s guys?

Greenwald, like Flynn, is a Clinton/Obama hater.

Even a sellout like Greenwald will be correct occasionally, but for a poster to use him as a reference undermines the poster’s cred.

 
 
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