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FISA Memo tarnishes FBI but not Russian Farce

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Did the Republican Congressmen over sell the Memo? Absolutely. Did that make it a nothingburger? No. Was it a bombshell? Sort of. The FISA memo also referred to as the Nunes Memo, was compiled by Republicans on the House Intel Committee. Trump supporters should be disappointed as should Hillary haters. However the most revealing thing in the Memos is about the FBI lowering their standards when seeking FISA warrants.

In following this standard there is a clear shortcoming. The FBI used the Steele Dossier, in part, with seeking a FISA warrant on Page. That Dossier was highly motivated for political gain and paid for by the DNC. According to Nunes, this was not disclosed to FISC. Contrary rebuttals are surfacing stating that the FBI did disclose the partisan motivations to the Court, which arguably makes matters worse. Then there’s the issue of Yahoo News.

The FBI clearly lowered their standards when obtaining this FISA warrant. They allowed circular reporting which is taboo in the industry. But let it sink in that the FBI is using the media to obtain information. In this era of fake news, as citizens, we should feel insulted the FBI did so little intelligence work in seeking this warrant. The FBI didn’t due their due diligence and purposely sought a warrant to spy on an American citizen. And yet now they want to complain about the public trust.

Since when has the government disclosing information to the public a hindrance on American trust. That could only be the case if the government was abusing said trust and now the government is fessing up. James Comey is a weasel who would much rather leak to the media than be honest with the public. The FBI was just revealed to abuse the FISA warrant system on an American citizen. This is a significant matter. FBI credibility is plummeting not because of Congress but because of people like James Comey and Andrew McCabe.

Russia, Russia, Russia

While Carter Page is at the center of the Russian witchhunt, it’s independent of Paul Manafort. Unfortunately the Russian investigation won’t go away as a result of the Memo. While the Memo may discredit the investigation, it in no way has enough to end it. In this way, many are disappointed. In this way, the Memo was oversold. In fact, to some the investigation is validated. Folks like John McCain claim that this was Putin’s bidding, but America’s interests were best served by knowing that our government is abusing the FISA system. Just think, the standard was Probable Cause and an unsubstantiated dossier was used. They didn’t have probable cause so they misled the court. They received four warrants in total, gathering sensitive information for months amounting to zero charges on Carter Page.

Takeaway

The FBI and DOJ abused the FISA warrant system. There in lies the anger and the irrationality as to why so many Republicans voted to renew FISA’s power. The Memo is not the smoking gun, but we eagerly await more information of the FBI/DOJ’s abuses hopefully to the extent that charges for these abuses can be levied.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. ed

    February 4, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    By smearing the entire FBI, you are helping and hoping to set precedent for overturning ALL FBI investigations that occurred under the “corrupt Clinton/Obama years” when you claim the FBI “turned against America”.

    In doing so, you argue for the overturn of not ALL terrorist accusations and drug lord convictions that were based on what you care claiming is “tainted” work of the FBI caused by a few political appointees at the top.

    When your smears and baseless accusations (since you actually do NOT know all the facts involved and are ignoring the political motivations behind Nunes’ memo), become so broad as to encompass the entire rank-and-file of the FBI (necessary since the political actors you are complaining about have now left office), your complaints are now interpretable as being against US law enforcement in general and the security of US citizens.

    When you are against US law enforcement in general (FBI & DOJ) instead of against specific individuals, you are doing exactly the work Russia wants you to do – causing chaos and anarchy within the US and turning citizen against citizen and against our government – a government that (by and large) works to protect and defend us (us citizens anyway) each and every day.

    Please take your partisan whining to a site that will give you more attention – perhaps Breitbart ? Mother Jones ?

    You are clearly no conservative – but instead a Trump partisan or Russian operative trying to bring down the US Government.

    • Ray Fava

      February 5, 2018 at 6:22 pm

      Sorry to disappoint but I will continue writing for NOQ. But do try lecturing me on conservatism when you argue that the US government can do no wrong, a statist position, and parroting John McCain’s rhetoric, a widely known progressive. And do refer to me as a Trump partisan when I’m just a normal person who didn’t even vote for Trump, like a McMuffin follower, and of course suggest that I am a Russian operative, a leftist smear. All while claiming expertise in conservatism.

      I think I’ll take considerations from actual conservatives who believe in a limited government instead of you.

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Guns and Crime

Why isn’t Katie Brennan’s #MeToo accusation getting national attention?

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It’s the type of story that should have received national attention immediately. It was sourced by a respected major news outlet, the Wall Street Journal. Both the accuser and the accused are high-ranking public official in New Jersey’s government. The accused stepped down two weeks ago when approached by WSJ for comment. Katie Brennan’s story is a major newsworthy scandal.

As of Monday morning, a day after the story officially broke and four days after it was leaked to other major news outlets, both mainstream media and the #MeToo movement are essentially silent.

That will change soon, possibly today. Brennan, a prominent volunteer for Phil Murphy’s gubernatorial campaign and current Chief of Staff at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, released this statement:

On April 8th, 2017, Al Alvarez raped me. On April 9th, 2017 I learned that the system is broken.

I have pursued every form of justice available. But it has become clear that this system is not built for survivors.

The details of the assault portrayed in reporter Kate King’s Wall Street Journal report published today are accurate. But to date, I have received no justice.

I decided to come forward because I know that Al Alvarez, and all perpetrators, must be held accountable, must never rape again, and the justice system needs a complete change with regard to sexual violence.

New Jersey residents are only given a two-year window to file a civil suit. After spending an entire year pursuing a criminal case before hitting a dead end, I am left with less than one year to pursue civil action.

It is clear that leadership from the Murphy administration is needed to create meaningful policy change on several levels to make sure future victims do not have to endure what I have. I urge Gov. Murphy and the Attorney General’s Office to eliminate the statute of limitations on civil action related to sexual assault, and to direct prosecutors to be more aggressive in taking on these criminal cases. Further, the Murphy administration and the General Assembly should pursue legislation to ensure New Jersey’s police and other first responders are better trained to handle sexual assault victims.

Finally, sexual predators like Al Alvarez are only able to stay in power when those around them do nothing. Several senior level members of the Murphy administration were aware of my assault and failed to take meaningful action. Al Alvarez remained employed at a senior level in the Murphy administration until just a few weeks ago, when he knew the Wall Street Journal article was coming out and opted to resign. The failure of members of Gov. Murphy’s staff to respond in an aggressive, proactive fashion is unacceptable.

To other sexual assault survivors in New Jersey, I urge you to join me in coming forward if you are able. I will stand with you, because when we stand together, we are safer and stronger. Our voice is our power. Together, we can finally receive the justice we all deserve.

Murphy has not commented other than saying Alvarez should not have been hired. He was made aware of a “sensitive matter” that needed to be discussed by Brennan in June and claimed his staff would set up a meeting. That was the last Brennan heard from Murphy.

Gov. Phil Murphy’s handling of aide sex assault allegation questioned

https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/governor/2018/10/14/murphys-handling-sexual-assault-allegation-called-into-question/1642517002/His accuser, Katie Brennan, was a Murphy campaign volunteer who said she spent more than a year seeking action against Alvarez for the alleged sexual assault before directly emailing Phil and Tammy Murphy in June. Phil Murphy responded within the hour, according to the Journal.

“Hang in,” he wrote. “We are on it.”

But Alvarez remained in his $140,000-a-year position until October. The alleged assault happened in April 2017.

Standards set by the #MeToo movement dictate that credible accusations should be believed. Brennan appears to be extremely credible, having reported her rape immediately after it allegedly occurred. Alvarez offered a $15,000 settlement that would have been attached to a non-disclosure agreement, which Brennan refused.

Where is MSNBC? Where is CNN? Where is Alyssa Milano?

Social media is starting to take notice. In particular, they’re going after Murphy and his wife for speaking out in support of Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Brett Kavanaugh.

Katie Brennan

My Take

I am a strong proponent for what the #MeToo movement once promoted and how it started. The original intent was to embolden women who had experienced sexual misconduct at the hands of men in power over them. The goal was to give courage to those who were in very tough situations.

Recently, the #MeToo movement has been weaponized. I’m not going to draw comparisons between accusations against Kavanaugh and Alvarez. That would be unfair to Ford since Brennan’s accusations against Alvarez are much more recent and have the benefit of an immediate report to the authorities. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that as of now, either the story hasn’t reached the right people or the right people have chosen to ignore it.

We can’t let them.

It’s not as if this is a political hit job against Democrats. Brennan’s image was used in Murphy’s campaign handouts and she was outspoken as a “Young Democrat of the Week” in New Jersey as a result.

Katie Brennan NJ Democrat

I don’t like when something as heinous as rape gets politicized, but silence from mainstream media and the #MeToo movement is deafening. Would they be avoiding the story if Brennan had accused a Republican?

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Guns and Crime

Infographic: Opioid overdose deaths in the United States

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Infographic Opioid overdose deaths in the United States

The use of opioids in the United States has dramatically risen in recent years, prompting calls for action from both sides of the political aisle. It’s not like the old drug wars on the streets of New York or the suburbs of Dallas. This drug epidemic is affecting all races, economic conditions, and ages.

In this infographic from Visual Capitalist, they examine the death rates county by county. Of note is West Virginia, where in some areas the opioid death rate is approaching the cancer death rates.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

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Guns and Crime

Inmates on death row in Washington state given life sentences after capital punishment struck down by Supreme Court

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Inmates on death row in Washington state given life sentences after capital punishment struck down b

The Washington state Supreme Court has ruled the death penalty is unconstitutional based on racial bias. This move affirms Governor Jay Inslee’s moratorium in 2014.

“We are confident that the association between race and the death penalty is not attributed to random chance,” the justices wrote in a majority opinion.

Racial bias was cited following a study commissioned by Allen Eugene Gregory, a death row inmate convicted of aggravated first-degree murder. The study found that black convicts were 4.5 times more likely to receive the death penalty than white inmates with similar charges.

The bias was attributed to juries rather than prosecutor recommendations. There was no evidence that prosecutors were more likely to pursue the death penalty based upon race but juries were more likely to sentence with racial bias.

Source: NPR

Washington State Strikes Down Death Penalty, Citing Racial Bias

https://www.npr.org/2018/10/11/656570464/washington-state-strikes-down-death-penalty-citing-racial-biasThursday’s ruling makes Washington the 20th state to abolish capital punishment. According to the ACLU, this state supreme court is the third to do so citing concerns about racial disparities, along with Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The court decided to convert Washington’s current death sentences to life imprisonment. The state’s corrections division says that there are eight people currently on death row.

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