Is it time to be very afraid?

Posted by: NW Ponderer

Is it time to be very afraid? - 05/24/19 02:17 AM

I was struck today by the confluence of these two events:
Trump orders intel agencies to assist Barr with review of Russia probe (CNN)
Quote:
President Donald Trump has ordered all major US intelligence agencies to assist Attorney General William Barr in his review of surveillance issues surrounding Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, delegating significant authority to Barr to declassify intelligence materials as the attorney general sees fit.
and Trump Justice Department Crosses New Line, Charges Assange With Publishing U.S. Secrets (Daily Beast).
Quote:
In a stunning escalation of the Trump administrationís war on the press, the Justice Department has indicted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for revealing government secrets under the Espionage Act. Itís the first time a publisher has been charged under the World War I-era law.

Seriously, this is the way a police state behaves.

In the first event, the Attorney General is being tasked to police other agencies for "disloyalty". One can call it something else, but that it what is going on. He's looking for "enemies" of the President within the agencies. In the second, he is trying to extend prosecution of espionage to journalists. Thankfully, there are constitutional proscriptions against that, but maybe they think they've adequately co-opted the judiciary to get away with it. The point is, they're trying, which is chilling enough.

Now, in fairness, I detest Assange and I am not a fan of what he has done, but, significantly, they are not pursuing him for his interference with the election, but for the Manning disclosure. There were adequate, and in my view, appropriate charges already pending against him for assisting in breaching government computers - something that any journalist would be susceptible of prosecution for. And, I think, a legitimate case could be made for electoral fraud in the 2016 election regarding the coordination with a foreign adversary (I think Assange himself has been a Russian operative for some time). But, that is not what he is being charged with.

On the other hand, it may be that they deliberately targeted Assange in this was to prevent his extradition. (That seems too clever by half, but it is a theory.)
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: Is it time to be very afraid? - 05/24/19 03:55 AM

Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
I was struck today by the confluence of these two events:
Trump orders intel agencies to assist Barr with review of Russia probe (CNN)
Quote:
President Donald Trump has ordered all major US intelligence agencies to assist Attorney General William Barr in his review of surveillance issues surrounding Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, delegating significant authority to Barr to declassify intelligence materials as the attorney general sees fit.
and Trump Justice Department Crosses New Line, Charges Assange With Publishing U.S. Secrets (Daily Beast).
Quote:
In a stunning escalation of the Trump administrationís war on the press, the Justice Department has indicted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for revealing government secrets under the Espionage Act. Itís the first time a publisher has been charged under the World War I-era law.

Seriously, this is the way a police state behaves.

In the first event, the Attorney General is being tasked to police other agencies for "disloyalty". One can call it something else, but that it what is going on. He's looking for "enemies" of the President within the agencies. In the second, he is trying to extend prosecution of espionage to journalists. Thankfully, there are constitutional proscriptions against that, but maybe they think they've adequately co-opted the judiciary to get away with it. The point is, they're trying, which is chilling enough.



Don't be afraid, get mad, get angry.
This is no time to be afraid.
Posted by: jgw

Re: Is it time to be very afraid? - 05/24/19 10:20 PM

I apologize as this is a bit off topic. There are two basic traitors that have caused the Wikileak thing. The first was the Chelsea Manning and Snowden. Manning was known as being unhappy and wanting out. The Army's decision was to keep him in intelligence and give him a computer with a dvd burner (they did learn their lesson, however, and removed said burners after the fact). Snowden was able to do what he did because the intelligence contractor he was working for didn't install software that would have stopped him (that company was punished with another intelligence contract. I have no idea if they ever installed the software).

What I am saying is that this stuff happens because it can. We are supposed to have people in charge that have a clue. Apparently that's not the case. Given the current administration, with the "very best people" its gonna be miraculous that even more terrible things don't happen.

I think the Wikileaks thing is gov's effort to admit they are incompetent, and try to stop the leaks from Wikileaks instead of doing their damned jobs!
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: Is it time to be very afraid? - 05/24/19 10:38 PM

That is not at all off topic, as it speaks to some of the things we might be "very afraid" of if it didn't make some of us angry first, scared second. Angry because we're spending enormous sums and being assured that only the best are in charge and that they have the situation well in hand...and they don't, far from it.

This is the Peter Principle, cubed.