Escape from Elba

National => National Security => Topic started by: Administrator on July 30, 2018, 12:20:25 PM

Title: National Security
Post by: Administrator on July 30, 2018, 12:20:25 PM
Title: Re: National Security
Post by: oilcan on August 07, 2019, 12:09:23 PM

Title: Re: NRA sued by NY AG
Post by: barton on August 06, 2020, 12:58:10 PM
(from the AP)

New York’s attorney general sued the National Rifle Association on Thursday, seeking to put the powerful gun advocacy organization out of business over allegations that high-ranking executives diverted millions of dollars for lavish personal trips, no-show contracts for associates and other questionable expenditures.

Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit, filed in state court in Manhattan after an 18-month investigation, highlighted misspending and self-dealing allegations that have roiled the NRA and its longtime leader, Wayne LaPierre, in recent years — from hair and makeup for his wife to a $17 million post-employment contract for himself.

Simultaneously, the Washington, D.C., attorney general sued the NRA Foundation, a charitable arm of the organization designed to provide programs for firearm safety, marksmanship and hunting safety, accusing it of diverting funds to the NRA to help pay for lavish spending by its top executives.

The troubles, which James said were long cloaked by loyal lieutenants and a pass-through payment arrangement with a vendor, started to come to light as the NRA’s deficit piled up and it struggled to find its footing after a spate of mass shootings eroded support for its pro-gun agenda. The organization went from a nearly $28 million surplus in 2015 to a $36 million deficit in 2018....
Title: Re: National Security
Post by: barton on August 31, 2020, 09:02:28 PM
Since we've gotten a vote of some confidence for this thread....

A new story from The New York Times' Michael Schmidt reports that that during the first months of the new Trump administration, former deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein shuttered FBI investigations into Trump’s longstanding financial connections with Russia —then ordered special counsel Robert Mueller to steer clear of it himself.

The accusation being leveled by acting Federal Bureau of Investigation director Andrew McCabe against Rosenstein goes further, suggesting that Rosenstein intentionally misled him. Schmidt reports that McCabe launched a counterintelligence probe into Trump's Russian ties immediately after Trump's firing of former FBI director James Comey, a move that was widely publicly speculated to be a Trump move to quash investigations into Russian election actions and into numerous of Trump's top advisers and allies.

The fear within the intelligence community was that Trump's behaviors could be impacted by unknown Russian pressures, representing an immediate national security threat.

Rosenstein, however, ordered the probe shut down. Rosenstein did not tell McCabe that directly, says Schmidt, but instead left McCabe "with the impression that the special counsel would take on [that] investigation" as part of Mueller's overall Russian interference inquiry.

But separately, Rosenstein told Mueller that he wasn't to pursue the counterintelligence concerns either.

That means no federal investigation into Trump's Russian cash have been undertaken during his presidency, despite numerous papers and journalists themselves identifying significant ties between Donald Trump's finances and individuals close to the Russian government. Not by intelligence officials, not by the special counsel's team, and not the Senate's own Russia probes. Through the entirety of Trump's term, all probes of financial ties to Russian interests—which he has retained, even in the presidency—have each been blocked.

Schmidt's claims here seem impossible to fully believe. It would require that federal law enforcement officials turn a blind eye to a potentially massive national security threat—the very real chance that Trump was and is being intimidated into, or merely bribed into, pursuing Putin-preferred policies damaging to the United States. Trump's moves to weaken NATO, his pressure on allies to weaken Russian sanctions and re-elevate Russia as economic leader, and his mostly-successful sabotage of the Ukrainian government's ability to push back Russian forces during a key Russian military push have each been contrary to longstanding U.S. interests. None have been competently explained, not even by Trump's own national security officials.

Per Marcy Wheeler....
Title: Re: National Security
Post by: barton on August 31, 2020, 09:40:00 PM

(the NYT story by Schmidt)

Title: Re: National Security
Post by: Echo4 on September 02, 2020, 07:54:29 PM
That's the single strongest indictment of Rod Rosenstein that I have read. It explains why he, himself, was in no rush to fire Mueller.

It doesn't explain why Mueller did not scream bloody murder.

And yeah, that whole explains a ton.
Title: Re: National Security
Post by: oilcan on September 15, 2020, 06:25:36 PM

Really sharp takedown of how media failures to filter for truth may threaten our democracy.   First half of the (longish)  piece gives you the gist.

Title: Re: National Security
Post by: barton on October 04, 2020, 10:18:08 AM
This was the feature article in the Sept 21 New Yorker,  and it's a real eye-opener on the justice system in this country,  and also the strange and cruel limbo of ICE detention.   Exposes the rot,  and sheer blinding stupidity,  and monumental waste that a bureacracy can promote when it should be protecting us from real threats.