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There Is A Serious Problem With James Clapper’s Remarks About The ‘Mole’ That No One Is Addressing

It was a long day with a lot of tough news, and the former Director of National Intelligence has just added to it.

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It’s been a long day with a lot of tough news, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has added to it.

He was interviewed on CNN on Thursday night.  In the course of the interview, Don Lemon quoted from one of Trump’s latest tweets.

[CNN’s Don] Lemon stated, “Here’s what the president tweeted this morning. He said, ‘Wow, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI spied on the Trump campaign with an embedded informant. Andrew McCarthy says, ‘There’s probably no doubt that they had at least one confidential informant in the campaign.’ If so, this is bigger than Watergate!’”

Lemon continued, “That is an extraordinary claim, and based on your experience, what is the likelihood that it’s true?”

Here’s how Clapper responded:

Clapper answered, “Well, I think this is hyperbole. They may have someone who was talking to them in the campaign, but the focus here, as it was with the intelligence community, is not on the campaign, per se, but what the Russians were doing to try to instantiate themselves in the campaign or to influence it or leverage it.”

Then Clapper made his outrageous statement: “So, if there was someone that was observing that sort of thing, that’s a good thing because the Russians pose a threat to the very basis of our political system.”

All right, so at least he didn’t say “kakistocracy.”

What saddens me is the deflection and faux moral posturing.  “Hyperbole”?  If the FBI had an informant in the Trump campaign, then it had one.  There’s no “hyperbole” involved in pointing that out.

Disputing whether the verb “to spy” applies, which seems to be what Clapper is getting at, is being disingenuous.  We’re not talking about 10-year-olds trying to peer into each other’s windows.  We’re talking about the FBI.  There’s no such thing as the FBI having informants monitoring your activities, and that not having weighty implications, about which there is no need to be “hyperbolic.”

But Clapper’s especially focused moral contradiction is the business about the Russians “posing a threat to the very basis of our political system.”

That has been the mantra of the Russiagate narrative, but no one ever defines it in a way that makes sense.  That’s pure demagoguery: an attempt to railroad people with trigger sentiments.  Sorry, I’m not selling America down the river for an emotional bumper sticker that has no meaning.

Here’s what has meaning.  The actual basis of our political system — which is about government that is consensual, limited, constitutional, and federal — is the U.S. Constitution.  The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution says the government can’t spy on the people except with probable cause, which means having the “criminal predicate” for a law enforcement operation that the talking heads were alluding to on Thursday.

Clapper apparently wants to gloss over the bright, constitutional line between spying on Russians (green light) and spying on the American citizens in the Trump campaign (red light, and you don’t move a muscle until it changes, after a judge agrees with your reasoning).

The Russians aren’t the threat to our political system here.  Careless obfuscators like Clapper are the threat to our political system.

THE FULL STORY CONTINUES HERE

 

Opinion

Pence v. Trump 2024? Former Veep Leaves the Door Open

WHOA!

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There has been an incredible amount of speculation as to whether or not Donald Trump will be again running for President in 2024, and there are a number of factors still at play that could create seismic shifts in the race to come.

For instance, if Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence were to decide to run against him in 2024’s primary…

Mike Pence is not ruling out the possibility of going head-to-head with his old boss Donald Trump in a 2024 Republican presidential primary, a new report suggested on Monday.

‘We’ll go where we’re called,’ Pence told the New York Times when asked about the possible head-to-head.

‘That’s the way Karen and I have always approached these things.’

Trump was not thrilled with the idea.

Meanwhile Trump, despite not formally declaring a 2024 bid yet, has eyes on the competition – including Pence.

In a statement to DailyMail.com, his spokesman slammed his old deputy as ‘desperate’ and mocked him for trying to ‘chase’ his ‘lost relevance’ amid the former running mates’ latest divide over backing separate candidates in the Peach State’s gubernatorial election.

Former President Trump is said to be waiting until after the 2022 midterms to make an official announcement regarding 2024, but there have been plenty of hints regarding his potential campaign – the latest of which came from former First Lady Melania Trump.

 

There has been an incredible amount of speculation as to whether or not Donald Trump will be again running for President in 2024, and there are a number of factors still at play that could create seismic shifts in the race to come. For instance, if Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence were to decide to run against him in 2024’s primary… Mike Pence is not ruling out the possibility of going head-to-head with his old boss Donald Trump in a 2024 Republican presidential primary, a new report suggested on Monday. ‘We’ll go where we’re called,’ Pence told the New York Times when asked about the possible head-to-head. ‘That’s the way Karen and I have always approached these things.’ Trump was not thrilled with the idea. Meanwhile Trump, despite not formally declaring a 2024 bid yet, has eyes on the competition – including Pence. In a statement to DailyMail.com, his spokesman slammed his old deputy as ‘desperate’ and mocked him for trying to ‘chase’ his ‘lost relevance’ amid the former running mates’ latest divide over backing separate candidates in the Peach State’s gubernatorial election. Former President Trump is said to be waiting until after the 2022 midterms to make an official announcement regarding 2024, but there have been plenty of hints regarding his potential campaign – the latest of which came from former First Lady Melania Trump.  

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Opinion

Verdict Reached in First Russian War Crimes Trial

This is just the first of many, certainly.

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been a brutal one, and increasingly so as the Kremlin’s soldiers find themselves in more and more trouble of their own making.

As the war grows ever more impossible for Russia to win, the troops sent into Ukraine have been committing a series of worsening atrocities.  It’s terrorism at the least, (and very likely a full-fledge genocide), and it belies just how poorly things are going for Russia.

Now, in the first war crimes trial of the conflict, a verdict has been reached.

In the first of what could be a multitude of war crimes trials held by Ukraine, Russian Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin, 21, was sentenced for the killing of a 62-year-old man who was shot in the head in a village in the northeastern Sumy region in the opening days of the war.

Shishimarin, a member of a tank unit, had claimed he was following orders, and he apologized to the man’s widow in court.

His Ukraine-appointed defense attorney, Victor Ovsyanikov, argued his client had been unprepared for the “violent military confrontation” and mass casualties that Russian troops encountered when they invaded. He said he would appeal.

There was no doubt about the court’s legitimacy, either.

Ukrainian civil liberties advocate Volodymyr Yavorskyy said it was “an extremely harsh sentence for one murder during the war.” But Aarif Abraham, a British-based human rights lawyer, said the trial was conducted “with what appears to be full and fair due process,” including access to an attorney.

Given the sheer amount of heinous deeds the world has witnessed in Ukraine, there is no doubt that more war crimes trials will be coming.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been a brutal one, and increasingly so as the Kremlin’s soldiers find themselves in more and more trouble of their own making. As the war grows ever more impossible for Russia to win, the troops sent into Ukraine have been committing a series of worsening atrocities.  It’s terrorism at the least, (and very likely a full-fledge genocide), and it belies just how poorly things are going for Russia. Now, in the first war crimes trial of the conflict, a verdict has been reached. In the first of what could be a multitude of war crimes trials held by Ukraine, Russian Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin, 21, was sentenced for the killing of a 62-year-old man who was shot in the head in a village in the northeastern Sumy region in the opening days of the war. Shishimarin, a member of a tank unit, had claimed he was following orders, and he apologized to the man’s widow in court. His Ukraine-appointed defense attorney, Victor Ovsyanikov, argued his client had been unprepared for the “violent military confrontation” and mass casualties that Russian troops encountered when they invaded. He said he would appeal. There was no doubt about the court’s legitimacy, either. Ukrainian civil liberties advocate Volodymyr Yavorskyy said it was “an extremely harsh sentence for one murder during the war.” But Aarif Abraham, a British-based human rights lawyer, said the trial was conducted “with what appears to be full and fair due process,” including access to an attorney. Given the sheer amount of heinous deeds the world has witnessed in Ukraine, there is no doubt that more war crimes trials will be coming.

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