Wednesday, November 24, 2021

From Roger Fitch and our friends down under at Justinian....

 After dithering for weeks, the Justice Department has indicted Trump's mate Steve Bannon for contempt of congress. Some had worried that the ever-cautious attorney general, Merrick Garland, would delay charging Bannon, or not charge him at all; after all, in October, Garland let the five-year statute of limitations run against Michael Cohen's unindicted co-conspirator in the Stormy Daniels hush-money payments: "Individual-l", one Donald Trump.

It was another Houdini escape for El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago. The payments, clear violations of election law, were under investigation by the Federal Election Commission as Trump's term ended, but holdover Republican appointees on the evenly-divided commission engineered a case closure on technical grounds.

If scandal and disgrace fail to sink Trump or his Republican caucus, there's still a faint prospect that the  congressional insurrectionists could be expelled, as they were in 1866, and Trump himself could be disqualified (or "lustrated") from office. 

It's essential that Trump be stopped from standing again, as all the indications are that he's planning a coup in 2024; that's why so much depends upon the work of the House Select Committee that is currently investigating the unsuccessful 2020 coup attempt. 

Even as the committee was sitting, shocking new evidence emerged of Trump's efforts to cling to power, e.g, the Eastman memos, and now, the Ellis and McEntee memos. Jenna Ellis was a Trump campaign lawyer; Johnny McEntee was the 29-year-old White House personnel director who forced out Defence Secretary Mark Esper for (among other things) resisting Trump's efforts to involve the Pentagon in his Putsch.

Even with the overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing, there's little time left for house Democrats to deal with Trump. The recent Virginia state elections exposed the continuing credulity of Republican voters, a softening of Democrat support and most worryingly, 2020 Biden voters with a short memory.

In November 2022 there will be congressional elections. Inflamed by the ceaseless Stolen-Election lie and powered by gerrymanders that would make Bjelke-Petersen blush, Trump's Fox-fed Lumpenproletariat will regain control of the House of Reps and put an end to its inquiries into Trump's malefactions. 

Yet there's no lack of ongoing litigation (here's the latest list), with a fresh grand jury inquiry into the Trump Organisation. Trump remains in personal legal peril with the January 6th jailings: his aiding and abetting the Capitol occupation would be one of the easiest cases for prosecutors to prove. As well, there's the incriminating Hatch Act violations of underlings in which he's implicated.


Monday, November 22, 2021

When the FBI is claiming to be the good guy...

ALWAYS QUESTION IT.... GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba — In the torturous history of the U.S. government’s black sites, the F.B.I. has long been portrayed as acting with a strong moral compass. Its agents, disgusted with the violence they saw at a secret C.I.A. prison in Thailand, walked out, enabling the bureau to later deploy “clean teams” untainted by torture to interrogate the five men accused of conspiring in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. But new information that emerged this week in the Sept. 11 case undermines that F.B.I. narrative. The two intelligence agencies secretly arranged for nine F.B.I. agents to temporarily become C.I.A. operatives in the overseas prison network where the spy agency used torture to interrogate its prisoners. The once-secret program came to light in pretrial proceedings in the death penalty case. The proceedings are currently examining whether the accused mastermind of the Sept. 11 plot, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and his four co-defendants voluntarily confessed after years in the black site network, where detainees were waterboarded, beaten, deprived of sleep and isolated to train them to comply with their captors’ wishes. At issue is whether the military judge will exclude from the eventual trial the testimony of F.B.I. agents who questioned the defendants in 2007 at Guantánamo and also forbid the use of reports that the agents wrote about each man’s account of his role in the hijacking conspiracy. READ THE REST HERE....

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Musical Interlude

Monday, November 8, 2021

Majid Khan (continued)

I have been thinking about this alot. About the 7 members of the military jury who asked for clemency for Mr. Khan. About the one hold out. The one holdout who probably was the reason why the sentence for Mr. Khan was 26 years instead of the minimum 25 years. The holdout who could not even say that the minimum is good enough. Maybe I have been focusing too much on that one hold out. The asshole as I have been frequently describing him or her. Fortunately there are others who can get past the one hold out. Fellow Gitmo attorney Joe Margulies is one of those who looked at the more positive side of this. Call it a hope for humanity. "And that is what seven senior U.S. military officials on Majid Khan’s panel told the United States government. They didn’t use my language. They used the language of constitutional betrayal. Due process. Disregard. Affront. Justice. They used the language of national values, damning the abuse heaped upon Khan as “closer to [the] torture performed by the most abusive regimes in modern history” and “a stain on the moral fiber of America.” But most of all, they used the language of shared humanity, insisting that Khan is, and has always been, within the circle. He was “a young man reeling from the loss of his mother,” “a vulnerable target” for recruitment no different from “many others.” “He is remorseful and not a threat for future extremism.” In short, he has a past that brought him to this day and a will that can take him elsewhere. He is human. He is one of us. Seven of eight panel members, each writing in their own hand, joined the letter. The panel recommended clemency for Khan. In the law, clemency pairs with mercy and is extended in those cases that “merit an exemption from punishment.” More than eighteen years ago, Khan begged his torturers for the same mercy. They ignored him. In a courtroom in Cuba, his plea was finally heard. May we all listen." Thank you Joe. Read the rest of Joe's post here.

Monday, November 1, 2021

Sentencing of Majid Khan

Sorry -- some technical problems with the story about the sentencing of Mr. Khan. I will try to fix and get it up in the next day or so...patience.

The Talking Dog on Majid Khan's "trial"

 As I said in my post yesterday I will have more reflection on this tomorrow as I process and finish a couple of other things. However, the Talking Dog has already processed and here is what he has to say.