Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Discussion of the recent unfolding of history.

Is Muller chasing his own tail or vica versa?

1 FBI is flawed and deeply biased and concocted the Russian collusion in an effort to discredit the Trump administration
4
40%
2 The Trump administration has come up with the FBI bias in order to discredit the Muler investigation
5
50%
3 unsure
1
10%
 
Total votes : 10

Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby Carleas » Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:21 pm

Again, what's your standard of evidence? You're rejecting credible reports connecting Russian hacking to the DNC email leak on the basis that there aren't enough details in a story about literal international espionage. That, to me, seems like an unreasonable standard of evidence. Moreover, you seem applying a different standard to evidence that supports your preferred conclusion than to evidence that undermines it (e.g. do you have anything more than internet rumors as evidence that US intelligence agencies are acting at the direction of Hillary Clinton?).
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby WendyDarling » Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:40 pm

Where does the report state that Dutch intelligence oversaw the Russian DNC hack? It doesn't and that's my point. By not giving out details, that connection to more current Russian hacks is implied only.

My standard for one would be that the evidence states detailed facts rather than implied connections and occurrences. Implications is a very liberal tactic.

Oh, it's not just Clinton and her cronies the US security agencies are acting under, it's the Democratic globalist agenda that Clinton and her cronies the world over support, you know world wide communism with the twist of corporatism running the one world government and enslaving all peoples under that unified authority.

And even if the Russian's did hack the DNC, where's the Trump connection other than implied? Papdopoulos and the Russian professor? :lol: The stuff you quoted had nothing to do with Trump being involved with the election hack, even if the Russian professor was saying that he had access to DNC emails. Far fetched at best.

The Romanian who took credit for the hack says he's not Russian or working for the Russians. How do you explain away his amateurish methods of hacking and his denouncement of Russian involvement? Yet your Dutch article gives a very sophisticated example of Russian hacking, not some Romanian with outdated information.
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby Uccisore » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:38 pm

Carleas wrote:I'm not really sure what you're claiming. Are you denying that there were ongoing contacts between members of the Trump campaign and the Russian government, or just that the members of the campaign that have pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about those contacts were trying to cover them u?


I'm denying that there's anything even vaguely, tangentially criminal about 'ongoing contacts between members of the Trump campaign and the Russian government' such that it warrants us even talking seriously about it, and that the only crimes that have been committed or alleged have been manufactured by the investigation asking dozens of people thousands of questions until someone invariably gets a date wrong or denies something they have a reason to hide and is declared to have 'lied to the FBI'.

Again, see Scooter Libby or Bill Clinton if you need examples of people who were punished for 'perjuring themselves' in investigations that had no firm reason to occur in the first place.

If, as you seem to imply, the only crime was a misstatement of facts to the FBI, which is what they're pleading guilty to, what are they getting out of the deal? They're already pleading guilty to the worst charge you think they could be found guilty of, so what are they getting in exchange for going along with a story that is, by hypothesis, false?


Well, it's important to point out that the only reason you imagine there's any sort of deal at all is because you watch CNN too much. In reality all we actually know is that Flynn was caught lying to the FBI and charged for it. Perhaps he was simply caught lying to the FBI, and there was no point in denying the charges because 1.) they go easier on you if you plead guilty and 2.) the evidence was overwhelming? If there is in fact a deal exists, it could be about literally anything; I mean, that's why the idea of a deal has been put forward by the press, so we can fantasize about all the horrible dirt Flynn has on Trump.

The fact that they've only been charged with the lesser offenses isn't evidence that no more serious offenses were committed.


Well yeah, we'll *never* have evidence that more serious offenses weren't committed, because it's an impossibility. If we're lucky, the special prosecution can go all the way to 2020 based purely on the strength of your "No evidence of a lack of a crime" line of reasoning.


Again, both campaigns were in open collusion with foreign Governments and everybody knows it. Nobody cared because it isn't a crime, and when it was occurring, the narrative in which we pretend it's a crime hadn't been constructed yet. The fact that you ignored me saying this last time really underscores how much of a witch hunt this is. I point this out to Democrats all the time and none of them ever give two shits. The response should be "Holy shit! What do you mean!? This is a bombshell!" but of course it isn't, because facts aren't why we're here...

The best you're going to get is a finding that Trump obstructed an investigation (by firing Comey) into something that wasn't a crime in the first place. Which will be another example of one of these special investigations creating a crime where none existed, just like the previous two high profile ones we had. Maybe if you get really lucky, Mueller will ask Trump about an affair Trump will feel the need to deny, and we'll get a perjury charge. Either way, it will all be a consequence of an investigation that didn't need to happen in the first place because it was based on scant evidence of activities that aren't criminal.
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:13 pm

Uccisore wrote:Again, both campaigns were in open collusion with foreign Governments and everybody knows it. Nobody cared because it isn't a crime...


On the other hand, not everyone shares this point of view:

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/st ... a-trump-c/

Still, there are folks [from both the left and the right] who insist that only their own take on all of this reflects the most rational frame of mind.

No doubt about it though: this reeks of "politics".

We'll just have to see how it all plays out. And, in the interim, squabble over what the actual facts are.

And, of course, which facts clearly count more than others: ours or theirs?
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby Carleas » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:51 pm

Uccisore wrote:I'm denying that there's anything even vaguely, tangentially criminal about 'ongoing contacts between members of the Trump campaign and the Russian government' such that it warrants us even talking seriously about it

To the campaign finance laws listed in iambiguous' link, I would add that if the Russians hacked the DNC, that would be a crime, and if the Trump campaign knowingly received the emails obtained from that hack, that would also be a crime. And if the Trump campaign knew in advance that the Russians were going to be hacking or attempting to hack anyone for the benefit of the Trump campaign, that could make them part of the conspiracy to hack (when I say "hack" here, I mean one of a number of criminal provisions of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act covering unauthorized access to computer systems).

Uccisore wrote:Well, it's important to point out that the only reason you imagine there's any sort of deal at all is because you watch CNN too much.

First, I imagine there's a deal because there are court documents signed by Papadopolous and Flynn acknowledging that they are cooperating with the investigation, and that that cooperation will be taken into account at sentencing. I imagine there's a deal because there are literally signed deals filed with the court.

And I imagine it involves providing information, active cooperation, and possibly testimony, because sentencing has been delayed, and, in the case of Papadopolous, the plea was entered under seal.

Uccisore wrote:Either way, it will all be a consequence of an investigation that didn't need to happen in the first place because it was based on scant evidence of activities that aren't criminal.

There's two claims here: one is that there were no crimes committed related to the election. The other is that the crimes related to the election won't be the crimes that ultimately bring Trump down. The former is implausible, given what Flynn and Papadopolous have acknowledged in their pleas, but I would not be surprised if the most damning crimes revealed by the investigation are not related to the campaign.
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby Mr Reasonable » Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:35 pm

What I love about these kinds of conversations is watching the guys who prosecute Trayvon Martin because of his photos on Facebook, turn around and play defense attorney for Trump and deny all kinds of facts that are right in front of their faces. I guess some people either aren't aware of the effects of their political bias on their ability to be rational, or they don't think it's wrong to rationalize toward their political biases in spite of the truth.
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby Uccisore » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:59 pm

Carleas wrote:To the campaign finance laws listed in iambiguous' link, I would add that if the Russians hacked the DNC, that would be a crime, and if the Trump campaign knowingly received the emails obtained from that hack, that would also be a crime.


Well, shit, somebody needs to lock up Andersen Cooper then, because him and every other news anchor received the emails obtained from that hack. Or are we operating under the CNN "It's different when we do it" doctrine? Yes, if Trump helped Russia hack the DNC, that would be a crime, but
1.) Russia doesn't need anybody's help to send a phishing email to John Podesta, and,
2.) Trump was in no position to *provide* aid in hacking the DNC servers, considering he's, you know, not in the DNC, and
3.) There's just as much reason to think it was spiteful Bernie supporters that did it, and they certainly had more access.

Collusion is not a crime, and "Yeah but what if..." is not a case.

And if the Trump campaign knew in advance that the Russians were going to be hacking or attempting to hack anyone for the benefit of the Trump campaign, that could make them part of the conspiracy to hack (when I say "hack" here, I mean one of a number of criminal provisions of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act covering unauthorized access to computer systems).


Knew in advance *of what*? Taking a phone call from a Russian national? Being in the same room as a Russian ambassador for 15 minutes this one time at a fund raising party?

See, that train of thought might make sense if there was a man named "Russia" and that man was hacking the DNC computers while working with the Trump administration. But in reality, Russia is a country of 150 million people or so, and private citizens in the United States have complete freedom to talk to them about anything they like, even if a handful of those citizens are doing illegal things.

I mean, imagine how insane it would be if members of other Governments started assuming their officials were complicit in whatever you imagine Trump has done purely on the grounds that they spoke to an American.

Again, once you realize that getting campaign assistance from foreign nationals isn't a crime and both campaigns flagrantly did it right in front of our eyes (which you seem to lack any curiosity about, considering how serious you pretend to take it), then the reason for this case to even exist evaporates.

Uccisore wrote:First, I imagine there's a deal because there are court documents signed by Papadopolous and Flynn acknowledging that they are cooperating with the investigation, and that that cooperation will be taken into account at sentencing. I imagine there's a deal because there are literally signed deals filed with the court.


That's not a deal. That's what you have to do to stay out of prison. Do you seriously think Flynn has the ability to say "Fuck you and fuck your investigation, I ain't telling you shit", when he's subpoenaed by the FBI and already guilty of a crime? The first thing any party does any time they're under the gun by law enforcement is release a statement about how fully cooperative they are. I'm sure OJ's lawyer declared the same thing.
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby WendyDarling » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:15 pm

It's Trump hate pure and simple, irrational and neverendingly full of false accusations...the liberal left in a nut shell that needs to be committed to the nuthouse.
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby Uccisore » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:20 pm

The Democrats don't even know what a credible accusation would be. The Hillary campaign and Trump campaign both colluded with, and recieved aid from foreign Governments right in front of our eyes and nobody cared. Things that everybody knows are perfectly acceptable are being called crimes for the purpose of this witchhunt. If collusion was a crime Trump and Hillary both would be in jail, or at the very least would have had to suspend their campaigns.
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby WendyDarling » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:37 pm

Like I said...blinding Trump hate. When's the swamp draining to occur? I guess if Trump's kept on the defensive, that can't occur especially with most of Washington against his efforts to save the USA's national sovereignty and values.
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby Uccisore » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:48 pm

WendyDarling wrote:Like I said...blinding Trump hate. When's the swamp draining to occur? I guess if Trump's kept on the defensive, that can't occur especially with most of Washington against his efforts to save the USA's national sovereignty and values.


Eh, Reagan's first year was much the same. Calls for his impeachment, insane hand-wringing, whining about his lack of experience, and his agenda slowed down because of how slow it was to appoint cabinet people who supported him.
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby WendyDarling » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:50 pm

I don't remember Reagan being insanely despised.
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby Uccisore » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:56 pm

WendyDarling wrote:I don't remember Reagan being insanely despised.


Everything is amplified by social media, but this happened: http://www.nytimes.com/1982/05/02/us/pr ... pitol.html
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:56 pm

WendyDarling wrote:I don't remember Reagan being insanely despised.


K: he wasn't... that is Ucci rewritting history again....

a common conservative tactic....

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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:03 am

WendyDarling wrote:It's Trump hate pure and simple, irrational and neverendingly full of false accusations...the liberal left in a nut shell that needs to be committed to the nuthouse.


Or, not long ago...

It's Obama hate pure and simple, irrational and neverendingly full of false accusations...the conservative right in a nut shell that needs to be committed to the nuthouse.

Objectivists!! =D>
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby WendyDarling » Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:05 am

Uccisore wrote:
WendyDarling wrote:I don't remember Reagan being insanely despised.


Everything is amplified by social media, but this happened: http://www.nytimes.com/1982/05/02/us/pr ... pitol.html


Only 2,100 people showed up for that rally against Reagan where millions upon millions openly protest their Trump hatred.

It's Obama hate pure and simple, irrational and neverendingly full of false accusations...the conservative right in a nut shell that needs to be committed to the nuthouse.

Obama wasn't overwhelmingly hated during his first term, but the hate grew during his second term of driving our country into the ditch.
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby Uccisore » Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:25 am

WendyDarling wrote:Only 2,100 people showed up for that rally against Reagan where millions upon millions openly protest their Trump hatred.


Why are you comparing the number of people who showed up to one rally to the total number of people who don't like Trump in the entire country? I'm just pointing out that there were demostrations against Reagan where they accused him of a bunch of the same things and called for his impeachment.

Like I said in my past post social media amplifies everything. The retard who thinks Trump is a white supremacist is reaching potentially everybody in the world, where as the retard who thought the same thing about Reagan only reached people within earshot.
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby Uccisore » Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:30 am

Peter Kropotkin wrote:
WendyDarling wrote:I don't remember Reagan being insanely despised.


K: he wasn't... that is Ucci rewritting history again....

a common conservative tactic....

Kropotkin


She only had the capacity to argue with me because I cited the source of my information. If citing an article written at the time of the event is what you call 're-writing history' then I'm not sure what help there is for you.
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby WendyDarling » Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:41 am

What parts of the government took measures to investigate Reagan pressing towards a prosecution, conviction and impeachment of Reagan?

Reagan and Trump are not even comparable is my point.
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby Uccisore » Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:31 am

WendyDarling wrote:What parts of the government took measures to investigate Reagan pressing towards a prosecution, conviction and impeachment of Reagan?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%80%93Contra_affair


Reagan and Trump are not even comparable is my point.


What's going on with Trump is certainly more exacerbated and severe, but there are absolutely parallels.
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby Carleas » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:14 am

Uccisore wrote:Well, shit, somebody needs to lock up Andersen Cooper then, because him and every other news anchor received the emails obtained from that hack.

I don't think the comparison is apt. Lots of laws have First Amendment exceptions that would cover the press receiving and publishing hacked information, and not a political campaign receiving the information, keeping it secret, and using it to influence an election. Arguably such an exception is required by the First Amendment.

If we can set the law aside for a minute, do you see no moral difference between a news organization receiving hacked information and reporting on it, vs. a political organization receiving that information and using it in secret to advance their political ends? Does the moral math depend on what news organization and which party it is?

Uccisore wrote:Yes, if Trump helped Russia hack the DNC...

I am not making this argument.

Uccisore wrote:Knew in advance *of what*?

Knew in advance of the hacking.

Uccisore wrote:[T]hat train of thought might make sense if there was a man named "Russia"

Or, you know, a government of a country named "Russia", which is colloquially referred to as "Russia" in standard American English c. 2018.

Uccisore wrote:Again, once you realize that getting campaign assistance from foreign nationals isn't a crime...

52 U.S. Code § 30121 reads, in part:
  1. Prohibition It shall be unlawful for—
    1. a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make—
      1. a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election;
      2. a contribution or donation to a committee of a political party; or
      3. an expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication (within the meaning of section 30104(f)(3) of this title); or
    2. a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) from a foreign national.
(emphasis in original)

Uccisore wrote:The first thing any party does any time they're under the gun by law enforcement is release a statement about how fully cooperative they are. I'm sure OJ's lawyer declared the same thing.

I'm not talking about press releases, I'm talking about the plea deal that Mueller offered and Flynn accepted (see section 8, "Cooperation"), and the plea deal that Mueller offered and Papadopolous accepted, which states that,
The Government agrees to bring to the Court' s attention at sentencing the defendant's efforts to cooperate with the Government, on the condition that your client continues to respond and provide information regarding any and all matters as to which the Government deems relevant. Your client also agrees that the sentencing in this case may be delayed until your client' s efforts to cooperate have been completed, as determined by the Government...

What do you mean by a "deal" if not a signed agreements with investigators to cooperate in the ongoing investigation in exchange for favorable treatment at sentencing?
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby WendyDarling » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:13 am

What's going on with Trump is certainly more exacerbated and severe, but there are absolutely parallels.

Ah, I'd forgotten about the Iran Contra scandal, but Reagan didn't start his first term under investigation for it. I understand that you want to categorize their issues the same, as parallels, but what's happening to Trump is beyond severe and it's not even based on his acting Presidency (well not yet, not until they throw those obstruction charges at him). I won't argue your feelings of similarity any farther, I see why you like comparing them, but I don't see any relevant connections since Reagan had served in politics as an acting governor before his presidency. They both share the wealthy, male Republican status, I'll give you that. :mrgreen:
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby Uccisore » Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:15 pm

Carleas wrote:If we can set the law aside for a minute, do you see no moral difference between a news organization receiving hacked information and reporting on it, vs. a political organization receiving that information and using it in secret to advance their political ends?


Not only do I not see those as morally different, I barely see them as different states of affairs. CNN is a political organization. Fox News as well, though less so. If it was one such political organization and not Wikileaks that got those hacked emails, we only would have seen or heard about them insofar as it advanced the political ends of the news organization that got them.

It is extremely disingenuous to tell me that there's a moral difference between journalists doing something and politicians doing something when you have benefited from the journalists working to advance your political interests for decades.

If the DNC got their hands on a bunch of illegally-gotten emails that would be damning for Republican, and they decided it would be illegal for them to use or hold on to them, they'd simply leak them to any of a number of press agencies.

Uccisore wrote:Knew in advance of the hacking.


Knew that the hacking was going to happen in advance of it? Whoever knew might be guilty of not reporting a crime, but that's unlikely to get to Trump and doesn't show any sort of collusion or conspiracy or anything else.

Uccisore wrote:Or, you know, a government of a country named "Russia", which is colloquially referred to as "Russia" in standard American English c. 2018.


Yeah, and how many millions of people does that represent? "A person in the Russian Government did something" does not make anybody who talked to "A person in the Russian Government" complicit or suspicious. This is where it's important to point out that the nature of the hacks (a password phishing scam) were such that a college student working alone could easily do the entire thing. We now know that we are simply not talking about something that requires the involvement of multiple agencies in multiple countries.



  1. Prohibition It shall be unlawful for—
    1. a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make—
      1. a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election;
      2. a contribution or donation to a committee of a political party; or
      3. an expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication (within the meaning of section 30104(f)(3) of this title); or
    2. a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) from a foreign national.


You aren't a lawyer, but I get the impression that you follow politics. So do you perhaps remember when Nigel Farage, then member of Parliament and leader of the British far right UKIP party, came to the United States, met with Donald Trump, held a press conference in front of every journalist they could fit in the room, and announced in front of everybody that he, Nigel Farage, a foreign federal official, was in the United States to help Trump with his election campaign? And then they left that press conference to meet in secret and discuss who knows what with who knows what promises exchanged?

Do you understand that the Clinton campaign had perhaps dozens of lawyers watching this, pouring over this - and so did the rest of America-, and their legal conclusion was to do absolutely fucking nothing?

What was much less widely supported is that Gianni Pittella, then member of Italian parliament, also came to the United States and actively campaigned for Hillary Clinton, giving speeches all over the Philadelphia area specifically and emphatically endorsing Hillary Clinton for president, in events that served no purpose other than being campaign rallies for Hillary Clinton. We're not talking about a press conference where he happens to mention her, *he campaigned for her here*.

Once again, dozens of lawyers on the opposition watching her every move (and it's worth while to point out how sue-happy Trump is), and once again, the conclusion was to take no action. I didn't see a single news article speculating about how much it might have cost cash-strapped Italy to fly Gianni and his aides here and pay their salaries while he campaigned for Hillary Clinton. As far as I can tell, nobody expressed any curiosity about what the Italian gov't or Gianni's party might have been promised in exchange.

Why was no action taken? I mean other than because these things obviously aren't against the law? Because Trump hadn't won yet and the "Getting help from foreign nationals with your campaign is a crime" bullshit hadn't been pushed to the press from the DNC yet, so nobody knew they were supposed to be outraged.

I mean, were you?


You are trying to prove something that everybody already knows happened. It's not a crime. The lawyers of the opposition would have destroyed the campaigns of both parties if it were. Now, taking monetary bribes can probably be punished. But trying to stretch 'other thing of value' to mean 'Anything I need it to mean to condemn Trump because I hate him' as the left is doing right now is obviously and by precedent a misreading. The First Amendment simply will not allow you to criminalize speech simply because the person speaking is running for office.


Uccisore wrote:What do you mean by a "deal" if not a signed agreements with investigators to cooperate in the ongoing investigation in exchange for favorable treatment at sentencing?
[/quote]

Well obviously I and everybody else who hears 'deal' would mean the connotative definition of what is implied whenever it is brought up, which is that Flynn offered the FBI dirt on Trump in exchange for a lighter sentence, not that the FBI demanded that Flynn cooperate with their investigation and Flynn said "ok". That IS the only reason it's a talking point, after all.
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby Carleas » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:31 pm

Uccisore wrote:It is extremely disingenuous to tell me that there's a moral difference between journalists doing something and politicians doing something...

Is it just disingenuous, or is it actually incorrect? Is journalism just politics by another name? If so, is that inherently the case, or just contingently the case in the modern US? This is an interesting claim (if it is your claim); my initial reaction is to disagree, but I acknowledge that there's a lot of grey in the distinction.

Uccisore wrote:Whoever knew [of the hacking in advance] might be guilty of not reporting a crime, but that's unlikely to get to Trump and doesn't show any sort of collusion or conspiracy or anything else.

If someone told the Trump campaign that they were going to do something illegal for the benefit of the campaign, and the campaign received the spoils of that illegal act, that would be more than just a failure to report a crime, it's complicity. Given that senior members of the Trump campaign were in contact with people offering them the spoils of a criminal hack, it's not impossible, it's not even that much of a stretch that Trump himself knew about it.

Another point of moral clarification: If you know someone is going to hack into someone's email for your benefit, do you have a moral obligation to take steps to prevent them from doing so?

Uccisore wrote:You aren't a lawyer...

I am a lawyer.

Uccisore wrote:The First Amendment simply will not allow you to criminalize speech simply because the person speaking is running for office.

Doesn't this answer your point? Again, there are First Amendment exceptions throughout criminal law. Even when they aren't there expressly, they'll be read in by courts to save the law from being unconstitutional. There's a rule of statutory construction in the US that says, where possible, courts should avoid interpretations that would render a statute unconstitutional.

Here "contribution or donation of money or other thing of value" is ambiguous, but easily interpretable to exclude stump speeches in support of a candidate, but not exclude e.g. material support in the form of the spoils of criminal hacking.

Uccisore wrote:Well obviously I and everybody else who hears 'deal' would mean ... that Flynn offered the FBI dirt on Trump in exchange for a lighter sentence...

If "dirt on Trump" includes dirt on any more senior member of the campaign, or a promise to testify to what he does know, etc., that's how I understand it as well. The fact that Flynn and Papadopolous entered these plea agreements, that Papadopolous' agreement was entered under seal, and that neither has been sentenced and likely won't be sentenced until the investigation is complete, suggests strongly that that's what we have. The written agreement makes it pretty clear that that's what the investigators believe they have. Whether or not Flynn or Papadopolous are in fact able to provide what investigators seem to expect them to provide remains to be seen, but it is a reasonable conclusion from what we do know.
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Re: Is political bias on part of the FBI a fact or fiction?

Postby WendyDarling » Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:44 pm

How can Trump be held liable for a Russian hack that he did not aid? Even if he had the DNC emails in advance and reported their existence, that wouldn't have stopped the source of the hack from releasing them. Trump would have still won. If Hillary and her swamp scum DNC crew hadn't written such egregious things, the DNC wouldn't have shot itself in the head (not that there were or are brains there to destroy anyway). I see blame Trump for Clinton's horrible garbage.
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