Archive for the ‘FBI’ Category

NPR: vast majority of Dems have high confidence in the FBI

October 5, 2018

Or, at least they did before yesterday.
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Yesterday, we reported an NPR survey indicating that the Dem’s enthusiasm advantage has evaporated.

Buried in the survey’s “internals”, but not reported in the headlined story, was an interesting question:

“Do you have a great deal of confidence, quite a lot, not very much confidence, or no confidence at all in The FBI?”

For the total sample, 59% said “great deal” or “quite a bit”;  36% said “not very much” or “no confidence”; 5% were “unsure.

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Survey Results

Drilling down, the results get more interesting…

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About Strzok’s “out of scope” polygraph…

July 13, 2018

Why aren’t lawmakers (and pundits) drilling down on this apparent smoking gun?
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One of the few points raised in the Strozk hearing yesterday that caught my attention emerged from Rep. Collins’ questioning.

Collins asked Strzok when he last passed a polygraph test.

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After some bantering and parsing, a couple of points were established:

1) Strzok said that he last took a polygraph 2 or 3 years ago

2) Strzok confirmed that he (and his superiors) were notified in January 2016 that his polygraph was “out of scope”

3) The FBI took no action based on the out of scope notification.

Hmm … aroused my curiosity.

Here’s what I’ve been able to piece together…

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FBI lovers: A gift that keeps giving …

June 5, 2018

What’s more important: character or performance?
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One of the news cycle items over the weekend was an article in The Hill by John Solomon:

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The foundation of the article was a fact-based timeline of the Russia-Russia investigation that largely debunks the story the DOJ-FBI have been peddling.

Even I am getting pretty bored by that stuff.

But, buried in the article were a couple incidental text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page – the now infamous FBI lovers (and card-carrying Trump haters)….

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Was an “informant” tasked to probe Clinton campaigners, too?

May 21, 2018

That’s one of two questions that I have about “spygate”

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I’ve gotten great amusement from the evolution of the spying-on-Trump story …

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First, the FBI/CIA denied that that they planted a spy on the Trump campaign … “no way, Trump is crazy”.

Then there were a flurry of stories indicating that a spy was indeed engaged … “but don’t release his name”

Then the positioning: “that would be a good thing” … “done to protect Trump” … from what?

Finally, the name of the spy-who-wasn’t was leaked … some professor with a long history working with the FBI & CIA.

But, he wasn’t a “spy”, he was a “tasked informant”.

OK, that parsing should make everybody feel better, right?

Let’s dig a little deeper…

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Hey, McCabe: You’re fired !

March 17, 2018

Here’s what you need to know …
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Last might, around 10 p.m., AG Sessions issued a press release indicating that Andrew McCabe was being fired.

Here’s Session’s statement (with my emphasis added):

After an extensive and fair investigation and according to Department of Justice procedure, the Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) provided its report on allegations of misconduct by Andrew McCabe to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).

The FBI’s OPR then reviewed the report and underlying documents and issued a disciplinary proposal recommending the dismissal of Mr. McCabe.  Both the OIG and FBI OPR reports concluded that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor − including under oath − on multiple occasions.

The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability.  As the OPR proposal stated, ‘all FBI employees know that lacking candor under oath results in dismissal and that our integrity is our brand.’

Pursuant to Department Order 1202, and based on the report of the Inspector General, the findings of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, and the recommendation of the Department’s senior career official, I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately.

The key points:

1) Inspector General Horowitz – applauded by all (before last nite) as a straight arrow – found that McCabe committed serious transgressions.

2) The IG forwarded some of his conclusions to the OPR – an internal watchdog group with a reputation for cutting transgressors a lot of slack.

3) The OPR recommended to AG Sessions that McCabe be fired for his transgressions.

4) Sessions  – acting on the OPR’s recommendation – fired McCabe.

Note:  It was the OPR that recommended that Sessions recuse himself from the Russia probe.

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I flipped between Fox ,CNN and online news sites when the announcement came down.

Talk about different worlds and different views …

A couple of headlines tell the story:

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McCabe’s pension: How much are we talking about?

March 16, 2018

Earlier this week, the FBI’s disciplinary forces recommended that Andrew McCabe be fired for ethical violations that include lying to FBI investigators.

Note: That’s the “crime”  that Mueller is charging most often these days.

Most news sources were reporting that Andrew McCabe was at FBI headquarters yesterday pleading that he be able to retire before getting fired.

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Why would McCabe put up such a big fight?

Simple math … retirement benefits … starting with his government pension.

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Is the value of government secrets grossly exaggerated?

February 12, 2018

That’s a question posed in a WSJ opinion piece over the weekend.
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Of course, the immediate stimulus was President Trump’s refusal to summarily declassify everything in the Dem’s rebuttal to the Nune’s memo.

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A week ago, the Dems – buoyed by DOJ and FBI warnings – were uber-concerned about protecting classified material.

Those concerns seemed a bit silly when the memo was released.

The only sources “outted” were the Clinton Campaign and Yahoo News.

The only method revealed was Googling “Page, Russia”.

Sure, the FBI and DOJ were “embarrassed” … but, so what?

So, why not throw caution to the wind and release the Dem memo?

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OMG: Memo reveals sources & methods …

February 5, 2018

There was some humor in the Nunes‘ memo
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Prior to release of the memo, the FBI issued a statement expressing the agency’s “grave concerns”.

One of the grave concerns – echoed by every left-leaning talking head – was that national security would be put at risk because the memo discloses our intelligence agencies’ sources & methods.

Usually, that means releasing the names of undercover operatives … or identifying intelligence “partners” … or disclosing technological information gathering techniques (say, bugging another government’s conference rooms).

Revealing those sources and methods would be a serious matter.

Did the memo, in fact, reveal sources & methods?

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The short answer is “yes, it did” ….

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“The memo”: 3 scenarios

February 2, 2018

As I write this, the memo hasn’t been released yet …
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Reporter Kim Strassel  had a must read piece in today’s WSJ: Memo Reading for Nonpartisans.

After reading it, I conclude that there are 3 likely scenarios to emerge.

First, let’s pound some stakes in the ground:

it’s virtually certain that the memo will reveal that the “Steele Dossier” – which everybody seems to agree (or concede)  was funded by Clinton’s campaign (and-or the DNC) – was submitted to the FISA Court to obtain a warrant to wire-tap Trump associate Carter Page.

Strassel says to Ignore any arguments that the dossier was not a “basis” for the warrant or only used “in part.”

Why?

“If the FBI had to use it in its application, it means it didn’t have enough other evidence to justify surveillance.”

Further, Comey testified to the Senate, under oath that parts of the dossier were “unverified”.

The key word in the prior sentence is “parts”.

OK, on to the scenarios.

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Scenario #1: The DOJ / FBI applied for the warrant using the dossier and …

(1) failed to explicitly inform the court that it was funded by Clinton’s campaign and

(2) failed to explicitly inform the court which parts of dossier had been verified and which parts had not been verified.

If this is the case, the DOJ / FBI violated the FISA laws by providing the court with misleading (through omission) evidence.

That’s pretty bad.

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Scenario #2: The DOJ / FBI applied for the warrant using the dossier and …

(1) explicitly informed the court that it was funded by Clinton’s campaign and

(2) explicitly informed the court which parts of dossier had been verified and which parts had not been verified.

If this is the case, assuming that the verified parts were relevant to the application, then DOJ / FBI provided legit evidence and the FISA court ruled on the application based on its merits.

That gets the DOJ /FBI off the hook, but shines a light on the FISA Court and the FISA process.

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Scenario #3: The DOJ / FBI applied for the warrant using the dossier and …

The DOJ / FBI refuse to answer whether they explicitly advised the FISA Court of the Clinton-funding or whether they explicitly informed the court that relevant parts of the dossier were unverified.

The basis for the refusal to answer would likely be that the FISA proceedings are “sealed” … or that the information is classified.

This scenario simply keeps the issue alive at an even higher decibel level.

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My take:

If Scenario #2 plays out … the GOP case is toast.

I personally think that Scenario #1 represents “truth”, but ….

I’m betting that Scenario #3 will be operative.

We should know by the end of the day.

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#HomaFiles

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NYT: “Acting F.B.I. director McCabe contradicts White House”

May 12, 2017

P.S. He also contradicted Comey, the Democrat’s main talking point and, oh yeah, himself.

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Yesterday, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe testified before a Senate oversight committee.

McCabe was Comey’s second-in-command … previously best known for having a wife who ran for office in Virginia with mucho financial backing from the Democratic party and Gov. Terry McAuliffe – a longstanding Clintonista.

The connection raised obvious questions about conflict of interests during the Clinton email investigation.

Point: he’s certainly not a shill for the GOP.

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The mainstream media, led by the NY Times, took to headlining that:

Mr. McCabe rejected the White House’s assertion that Mr. Comey had lost the backing of rank-and-file F.B.I. agents.

“Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the F.B.I. and still does to this day.”

Hmmm.

Let’s dig a little deeper …

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Departing AG Lynch’s opens investigation of Comey & the FBI …

January 18, 2017

Her action might prompt re-opening of the Clinton server investigation.

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Departing AG Lynch lobbed a clock-winding-down grenade … unleashing the DOJ’s inspector general to review “broad allegations of misconduct involving FBI Director James B. Comey and how he handled the probe of Hillary Clinton’s email practices.”

Center stage are Comey’s July 5 non-sequiturial press conference (lots of evidence, but issue a stay-out-of-jail free card anyway), his re-opening of the case when classified emails were spotted on Anthony Weiner’s laptop and Comey’s last minute pronouncement for every to fuggitaboutit.

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There are a couple of ways that Dem-loyal Lynch’s ploy might backfire.

First, beyond Comey, the IG said that he’ll be investigating “whether Peter Kadzik, the Justice Department’s assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, improperly disclosed non-public information to the Clinton campaign” and whether “FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe should have been recused from the case since his wife, Jill McCabe, ran for a Virginia Senate seat and took money from the political action committee of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a fierce Clinton ally.”

Said differently, the IG is likely to find more influence peddling and tampering from the Clinton side than from the Trump side.

Second, while Lynch has narrow-scoped the investigation to exclude her not-so-secret tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton, an in-coming AG might broaden the scope to dig into the “event” that forced Lynch to punt the ball to Comey … setting the stage for his press conference and letters.

Her improprieties certainly contributed to the mess.

Third, and most important, while the IG said that he’s not going to relitigate the findings in the Clinton case, the IG review is likely to rip off some scabs at the FBI and prompt a re-look at the case.

And, there are a couple of plausible motivators for re-opening Clinton’s file …

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So, did Apple win or lose?

March 30, 2016

In case you haven’t been paying attention …

The FBI snagged the government-owned cell phone that was being used by one of the San Bernardino killer-terrorists … but, couldn’t get at the data because of Apple’s security and encryption technology … which vaporizes the data if you enter a wrong password 10 times.

So, the FBI asked Apple to to provide a custom-cobbled hack to get at the data.

Apple said “no”, ostensibly to protect the privacy and security of its users.

So, the FBI sued Apple, and the case was working its way through the courts.

That is, until yesterday when the FBI withdrew its law suit.

Victory to Apple, right?

 

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Not so fast.

Here’s why the FBI withdrew its law suit ….

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An IRS agent, an FBI agent and a gardener ….

April 22, 2013

No, this isn’t the lead line of a bad joke.

It’s a question of priorities.

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Let’s start with the gardener …

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Nums: Don’t ban assault rifles … ban hammers!

January 25, 2013

First, a couple of disclaimers: (1) I don’t own a gun, I’ve never fired a gun … and I don’t plan to do either in my lifetime (2) I’m pro-Constitution, so I hate it when Constitutional rights are stripped away … that’s a very slippery slope  (3) So, despite my personal aversion to guns, I’m not big on infringing other people’s right to own them (4) I love kids and I lived in Trumbull, CT … just down Rt.25 from Newtown … so, I took the school killings hard.

OK, with that out of the way, let’s look at the numbers to see how silly the DC debate has gotten.

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Practically all of the political effort is on banning law abiders from owning assault rifles and high capacity ammunition clips.

Below is some FBI data that may surprise you …

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