Why we must punish the Trump mob for witness intimidation

I’m happy Trump’s witness intimidation was called out in the impeachment report. (Link)

The President engaged in this effort to intimidate these public servants to prevent them from cooperating with Congress’ impeachment inquiry. He issued threats, openly discussed possible retaliation, made insinuations about their character and patriotism, and subjected them to mockery and derision—when they deserved the opposite. The President’s attacks were broadcast to millions of Americans—including witnesses’ families, friends, and coworkers.

It is a federal crime to intimidate or seek to intimidate any witness appearing before Congress. This prohibition applies to anyone who knowingly “uses intimidation, threatens, or corruptly persuades” another person in order to “influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding.” Violations of this law can carry a criminal sentence of up to 20 years in prison.|

The report called out specific ways he intimidated witnesses before during and after the most recent hearings. What it doesn’t include is his history of doing this during the Mueller investigation. I want witness tampering to be part of his impeachment because he needs to be punished for it. As the report says:

The President’s campaign of intimidation risks discouraging witnesses from coming forward voluntarily, . . . → Read More: Why we must punish the Trump mob for witness intimidation

Justice in fiction vs reality. Learning from Watchmen, Chernobyl and The Good Place

I just watched Episode 6 of The Watchmen. My friend Greg Basta said it was impressive and I agree. I’ll watch it again after reading this EXCELLENT analysis by Melanie McFarland in Salon. HBO’s “Watchmen” trolls history and heroic whiteness in the most extraordinary episode yet

Watchmen Season 1, episode 6: This Extraordinary Being, Screencap HBO

I know that some people don’t like the super-hero genre and I totally understand why. What I like about this series (and this episode) is it explores who created these heroes and what function they serve for some people, but not all.McFarland’s piece brought insight I missed, enriching my experience. It’s a MUST read for fans of great TV cinema writing. It reminds me of the work of two of my favorite writers on TV and cinema, Matt Zoller Seitz and Mick LaSalle.

I was talking to some friends about the presidential race the other day. I recalled this comment from Joy Reid, but not the specifics, so I looked it up, Here’s the clip.

“So the idea of united and coming together, that sound fine for Pete Buttigieg to say to middle class white America that wants to come together . . . → Read More: Justice in fiction vs reality. Learning from Watchmen, Chernobyl and The Good Place

US requires Ukraine to keep Javelin missiles 100’s of miles from battlefield

Remember those additional javelin missiles that Ukrainian President Zelensky wanted? It turns out that the US requires they be kept 100’s of miles from the battlefield. From an article in Foreign Policy on October 3rd, 2019 Far From the Front Lines, Javelin Missiles Go Unused in Ukraine

“Under the conditions of the foreign military sale, the Trump administration stipulates that the Javelins must be stored in western Ukraine—hundreds of miles from the battlefield. ”

“I see these more as symbolic weapons than anything else,” said Samuel Charap, a senior political scientist at Rand Corp. Experts say the conditions of the sale render them useless in the event of a sustained low-level assault—the kind of attack Ukraine is most likely to face from Russia.

A U.S. Marine fires a Javelin at a simulated enemy tank at Pohakuloa Training Area in Hawaii. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps) From Raytheon Javelin Weapon System Gallery

So who wins with the sale of these missiles that aren’t available to use? Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. Each missile costs $109,000 each.

When the discussion of military aide came up Sen. John McCain taunted Obama for giving the Ukrainians “blankets and meals,” instead of lethal support. Trump . . . → Read More: US requires Ukraine to keep Javelin missiles 100’s of miles from battlefield

Who charges Don Jr. and Breitbart for witness tampering? 

Wednesday Don Jr. linked to a Breitbart article naming the alleged Whistleblower.

“Don Jr., Thug That He Is, Outs Person He Claims Is Whistleblower” Following Rand Paul’s lead, Don Jr. decides to tweet out Breitbart’s article identifying the person they *think* is the whistleblower. That puts a target on the person’s back, whistleblower or not. By Aliza Worthington Crooks and Liars

I knew this was coming and it pisses me off. The good news is that most organizations have held off naming the person. But that doesn’t stop the intimidation.

Aliza Worthington addresses this excellently in this C&L piece, so I’ll repeat it here:

We won’t link to it here, because WE respect the law. WE recognize that the information might be incorrect. WE don’t want to put the target on the back of either a misidentified person, or a correctly identified whistleblower who is entitled to full legal protection of privacy and personal safety the president’s demon spawn just obliterated.

It’s worth noting that as of this writing, none of the cable news channels have reported this person’s name, either, even Fox News. (Though, it’s also worth noting that many on Fox News are saying the whistleblower is . . . → Read More: Who charges Don Jr. and Breitbart for witness tampering? 

I #AskPreet: “Trump threatens Whistleblowers, isn’t that a crime?”

I write to Preet Bharara about his comments on Trump’s threats to whistleblowers and witnesses.

Anne Milgram @AnneMilgram and Preet Bharara @PreetBharara

 

This is Spocko in San Francisco, you called Trump’s threat to the whistle blower an abomination on your October 1 Cafe Insider episode, but will Trump be charged for threatening the whistle blower(s) Does the witness tampering statue apply to whistleblowers? What about the others in government who gave the whistle blower information? Trump is threatening them too.

I would like you and Anne to discuss the witness tampering statue and how Trump and others like Lindsey Graham and Jim Jordan will avoid being charged with witness tampering. I’m very concerned that with the DOJ under Bill Barr no one will be charged with threatening witnesses. Is it possible for US Attorneys in other districts to charge Trump with witness tampering? LLAP, Spocko

Here is the section of the show that discussed it. 2 minutes 23 seconds.

http://www.spockosbrain.com/wp-content/uploads/Whistleblower-comments-Insider-2019-10-01-edit-645pm-1.mp3

============

NOW the detailed questions, because you are lawyers and know politics too.

====

I’ve seen the right wing media spin the President’s threats as no big deal, just “tough talk” I have a few . . . → Read More: I #AskPreet: “Trump threatens Whistleblowers, isn’t that a crime?”

Our superpower? Impeachment.

We are all Captain America.

This is my favorite scene in Captain America.

http://www.spockosbrain.com/wp-content/uploads/Captain-America-a-strong-man-vs-a-weak-man.mp4

Illustration from @PresVillain

I WILL TOTALLY DESTROY AND OBLITERATE THE ECONOMY OF TURKEY!!! I’VE DONE BEFORE–!!! #PresidentSupervillain pic.twitter.com/1co7Dns4f6

— Pres. Supervillain (@PresVillain) October 7, 2019

Cross posted to Hullabaloo

Recommend on Facebook Tweet about it Email this!

Sen. Deb Fischer Wants to Put Constituent in Jail For Posting A Note On Her Door

Today’s right wing politicians have adopted Trump’s method of intimidation and attack. They use them on the press and critics. Even critics who are their constituents. First, it is important to acknowledge politicians on the right aren’t satisfied with silencing their critics, they keep attacking. They want to put them in jail. From Seeing Red, a website which self identifies as “Nebraska politics from the left.”

On Monday, September 23, Lincoln resident Patricia Wonch Hill is scheduled to go to court. Her “crime”? She allegedly taped a note onto the office door of U.S. Senator Deb Fischer in October of last year. The note was not threatening, and the tape was not some kind of unusual industrial glass-destroying tape. It was, according to the police report, a paper that read “Deb ♥s Rapists” affixed to the glass door with a piece of packing tape and two stickers. The staffer who called the police upon discovering the note claimed it had caused $1 worth of damage, though how a piece of tape could cause $1 worth of damage to a glass door was not specified. Presumably $1 is the labor value the staffer placed on the time it took her to . . . → Read More: Sen. Deb Fischer Wants to Put Constituent in Jail For Posting A Note On Her Door

3 Potential Mass Shootings Foiled

Good news everybody! Three potential mass shootings foiled!

(CNN) Authorities this weekend announced they had foiled three potential mass shootings after arresting three men in different states who expressed interest in or threatened to carry them out.

All three cases were brought to authorities’ attention thanks to tips from the public.

In the story we learn about these men, how the public told the police about them, what they allegedly said on social media and in text messages and what they were arrested for. They are:

James Patrick Reardon, Ohio. Tristan Scott Wix, Florida. Brandon Wagshol, Connecticut

This is a good thing. So, how will the guns everywhere crowd respond? By not reading the article and screaming about “Pre-crime! 2nd Amendment rights! 400 rounds is not a lot of ammunition!”

And there will also be people who understand both the need to protect the safety of the public and people’s rights and civil liberties.

Read the article, LINK there are some questions unanswered, and there will be challenges in these cases that is to be expected. It’s part of due process and that’s important.

What to note is the gun people will want to push a slippery slope idea when . . . → Read More: 3 Potential Mass Shootings Foiled

Some powerful men do get convicted of sex crimes. Let’s learn from those cases.

We live in a world where powerful men have sexually trafficked women and raped children repeatedly, over years. They employ fixers who use multiple methods to stop victims from obtaining justice.

What can you do? First. Stop thinking the rich and powerful will always win. It’s easy to be cynical when we see the powerful at the top get away with their crimes. But they don’t always.In our system the powerful men’s fixers exploit victim’s lack of equivalent legal, financial and PR resources to prevent justice and to silence the victims. They use the general public’s cynicism, impatience and learned helplessness as a tool. But when you give up hope of men ever coming to justice, you let the child rapists and their protectors win. But they don’t always win.

I’m going to tell you what The Fixers, the people protecting the powerful, will be doing next. By anticipating what each type of Fixer will do, you can set traps and catch them in the act.I’ve written about the Epstein case twice. July 10th Epstein And Trump: The Cover Up And The Child Rape and July 26th, Epstein Found Injured in Jail. Suicide Attempt? Or Attempted “Suicide? As a . . . → Read More: Some powerful men do get convicted of sex crimes. Let’s learn from those cases.

Don’t blame the babies. They don’t know monsters are real.

Newt: My mommy always said there were no monsters – no real ones – but there are, aren’t there?

Ripley: Yes, there are.

Newt: Why do they tell little kids that?

Ripley: Most of the time it’s true.

Recommend on Facebook Tweet about it Email this!