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Sat Mar 11, 2017, 08:09 PM

Bligh's Bounty

“How low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy,"
Donald Trump


Donald Trump is not the first US president to believe that he was spied upon by the previous president. By no coincidence, the other fellow who made similar claims – though in private – was Richard M. Nixon. As a candidate in the fall of 1968, Nixon had received information from Henry Kissinger that President Johnson was close to reaching an end of the war in Vietnam. As Hubert Humphrey was closing the gap between the two candidates, Nixon recognized a peace treaty late in the campaign would insure a Democratic Party victory.

Thus, Nixon and H. R. Haldeman tasked Anna Chennault with convincing South Vietnam to hold out for a better deal from a Nixon administration. When LBJ called Nixon to confront him on the obvious violation of the Logan Act, Nixon did what he often did: he lied, denying any involvement. After the incident, Nixon was convinced that Johnson was listening in to Nixon's conversations on his campaign plane.

This is the thinking of a paranoid, devious individual. And, in that sense, and that sense only, Trump was correct in saying, “This is Nixon/Watergate.” For devious, paranoid individuals always project their own behaviors upon their opposition.

More, Trump was aware that more and more information about his campaign's misdeeds will continue to leak to the press, and that both the House and Senate were scheduling investigations of the campaign's ties to Russia. Hence, his desperate attempt to re-frame the issue into one of that foreign-born, atheist Muslim ISIS-founder Obama's “spying” on a political opponent. Surely Nixon is smiling as he looks down from hell at Donald Trump.

The bad news for Trump is, of course, that even the republicans in congress realize that they must “investigate” the assertion that President Obama tapped candidate Trump's phone. As this claim only exists as a possibility in the slimy region between Trump's ears, congress will quickly document that in reality, it didn't happen. However, the witnesses that congress calls upon can and will provide testimony that various agencies were documenting Trump campaign contacts with Russian intelligence. And there is a possibility that these include Trump himself, conversing with Russians. Yet none of this involves President Obama, as Trump claimed.

There are congressional hearings scheduled for March 20, that will be televised. In a very real sense, it is essential that as many of these hearings as possible be available for public viewing. This would be beneficial for the three general groups of citizens: those who support Trump, those who oppose him, and the “undecideds” who are concerned about the administration's ties to Russia, but are unsure of the extent.

Older readers will recall the value of the televised Senate Watergate hearings. The vast majority of the “three groups” were convinced that Nixon had to go. As a result of these hearings, the House began to draft their articles of impeachment, causing Nixon to resign in utter disgrace.

The Senate Watergate Report includes quotes from two important US Supreme Court decisions that define constitutional law regarding congress's duty to “inform the public.” While technology has changed since those court rulings, the principles remain constant. Let's take a look at these, found in the report's introduction. Both are in the context of their recognizing “that the ultimate impact of its work depended upon obtaining and keeping public confidence.” (page 49)

Now, let's consider a quote from United States v. Rumely (1953), which was actually taken from Wilson's “Congressional Government” (page 303): “It is the proper duty of a representative body to look diligently into every affair of government and to talk much about what it sees. It is meant to be the eyes and voice, and to embody the wisdom and will of its constituents. Unless Congress have and use every means of acquainting itself with the acts and disposition of the administrative agents of the government the country must be helpless to learn how it is being served, and unless Congress both scrutinize these things and sift them by every form of discussion, the country must remain in embarrassing, crippling ignborance of the very affairs which it is most important that it should understand and direct. The informing function of Congress should be preferred even to its legislative function.”

Next, let's consider a quote from Watkins v. United States (1957): “{There is a} power of the Congress to inquire into and publicize corruption, maladministration or inefficiency in agencies of the government. That was the only kind of activity described by Woodrow Wilson in 'Congressional Government' when he wrote: 'The informing function of Congress should be preferred even to its legislative function.' From the earliest times in its history, the Congress has assiduously performed an 'informing function' of this nature.” (Both quotes are taken from page 40 of the Senate Watergate Report.)

As citizens, it is our responsibility to write, call, and e-mail our elected representatives – who in theory work for us – and instruct them to encourage and engage in congressional investigations to document the issues of Trump and his campaign and administration's ties to Russian interests. This should include the obviously false claim that President Obama “tapped” Trump's phone. It should include General Flynn, his being an agent of a foreign nation, and his relationship with various Russians – including the five (5) calls he had with the Russian ambassador the day President Obama sanctioned Russia.

Again, all Americans need to learn the truth here.

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Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply Bligh's Bounty (Original post)
H2O Man Mar 2017 OP
burrowowl Mar 2017 #1
H2O Man Mar 2017 #2
longship Mar 2017 #3
H2O Man Mar 2017 #4
coeur_de_lion Mar 2017 #5
H2O Man Mar 2017 #6
coeur_de_lion Mar 2017 #16
H2O Man Mar 2017 #17
coeur_de_lion Mar 2017 #21
H2O Man Mar 2017 #22
suffragette Mar 2017 #7
H2O Man Mar 2017 #8
suffragette Mar 2017 #11
H2O Man Mar 2017 #13
suffragette Mar 2017 #19
H2O Man Mar 2017 #20
malaise Mar 2017 #9
H2O Man Mar 2017 #10
malaise Mar 2017 #12
H2O Man Mar 2017 #14
voteearlyvoteoften Mar 2017 #15
H2O Man Mar 2017 #18

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Mar 11, 2017, 10:04 PM

1. K&R!!!!!!

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Response to burrowowl (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 11, 2017, 10:06 PM

2. Thank you.

These are historic, crazy times.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Mar 11, 2017, 10:19 PM

3. We need to get the facts.

An open investigation is the only way to do that.

R&

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Response to longship (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 11, 2017, 11:08 PM

4. Yep.

It should take 15 seconds to document that President Obama did not tar Trump's phone. Then they can turn to serious business.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 11:40 AM

5. Will Russian ties really be investigated?

I think tRump will find a way to quash it.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #5)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 01:54 PM

6. Sure.

A week from tomorrow, Comey is scheduled to testify in a televised hearing. This creates a problem for the White House, which is going on behind the scenes now. When Trump made his silly yet dangerous tweets about President Obama recently, he was commenting -- and lying -- about something that was highly classified. For the intelligence community was indeed monitoring two Russian banks that engage in "money laundering." Those two banks (not just one, as the media is reporting) have funneled money into various entities around the globe.

Curiously, the intelligence community found clear indications between these banks, and the server that Trump et al used. The FISA document in question allowed for monitoring the two banks' connections to domestic entities. Specifically, four individuals were of interest, with one being Donald Trump. The other three were "fund-raisers" for his campaign.

Even with his lie about President Obama, it appears that Trump's tweets effectively declassified that operation. Yet Comey has sought clarification -- Trump must decide if he formally declassified it, or not. Instead of clarifying, the White House has attempted to back off, saying Trump realized he made a mistake, and felt "really bad about it by 3:30 that Saturday afternoon." Their foot-dragging also includes not turning over their "proof" to Congress -- as legally required -- to congress by tomorrow .....for that would require they admit Trump declassified the information with his tweets.

If Trump didn't declassify it, he has illegally made information public to the potential benefit of the Russian banks and those domestic entities they funneled money to; if he did declassify it, it may very well be obstruction of justice. The closest thing to this was Nixon's attempt to get the CIA to stop the FBI investigation of the Watergate burglary.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #6)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 08:57 PM

16. GREAT ANALYSIS

Wish I had your acumen for political intrigue. I'm in awe.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #16)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 09:01 PM

17. Well, thank you!

I could always recommend some good books on political intrigue, you know.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #17)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 07:20 PM

21. smartass

Recommend a good beach read and you're on.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #21)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 09:30 PM

22. No problem.

Of the last three books I've read on a beach, I'd start with Lamar Waldron's 2012 "Watergate: The Hidden History (Nixon, the Mafia, and the CIA)." You'll love it. (When I read it outside Boston, some lady asked my family why I was reading a book and scowling, while on the beach. If you get the book, head to a beach, and you'll find the answer.)

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 02:04 PM

7. No coincidence that Roger Stone was close to both Nixon and Trump.

More is coming out about slimy Stone's role as well.

http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-92774700/


A political consultant and former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump says he communicated last year with an individual involved in hacking Democratic National Committee emails.

~~~
Last summer, emails stolen from Democrats were posted by an online persona known as Guccifer 2.0. U.S. officials believe that individual is linked to Russia. Emails stolen from the chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign were later released by the anti-secrecy website Wikileaks.

The U.S. government later concluded that the Russian government directed the DNC hack in an attempt to influence the outcome of the presidential election.

Stone's acknowledgment of contact with Guccifer, however brief, could pose fresh problems for Trump, whose administration has been unable to surmount suspicion over campaign-season contacts with Russia. The FBI is investigating, as are the House and Senate intelligence committees.

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Response to suffragette (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 02:15 PM

8. You nailed it!

Stone is going to be called to testify. Republican leaders have already agreed to that.

He is perhaps the most repulsive of the Nixon era slime still infecting the nation. Both Stone and his mobster associate Paul Manafort were obviously key players in the Russian-Trump connections. Attempts to distance the Trump campaign from these two were taken to try to conceal those ties. But they will be exposed.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #8)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 02:37 PM

11. Excellent point about attempts to distance campaign from Stone and Manafort. Yet Stone was

Clearly still acting as surrogate for Trump after that.

Add to that Flynn's connections and his scrambling now to belatedly register as foreign agent, possibly at his attorneys' recommendation. Starting to look like he won't do the Oliver Stone bit of falling on his sword for Trump. That has to be making the White House edgy and when Trump gets edgy he tweets to try to distract. But now he has more to remember and keep straight and with that access to classified info comes he probability that he'll mix some of that into his tweets, which provides for interesting openings.





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Response to suffragette (Reply #11)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 06:44 PM

13. It was from

Flynn's attorney's advice, but is in the context of the upcoming hearings, and potential criminal hearings. He had legal advice all along, but made no move to register as a foreign agent. He believed he was above the law -- the exact attitude that the Nixon folks had. And, again like the Nixon sludge, he didn't grow a conscience spontaneously -- his actions aren't out of respect for the law. Just the opposite: he wants to avoid legal consequences.

I read another DU:GD post suggesting he might be turning on the White House. I do not think this is so. Trump, and Trump alone, has the power to pardon him, if the shit hits the fan and splatters upon him. However, if Trump hesitates to do so, I'd expect Flynn to try to make a deal.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #13)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 09:36 PM

19. Agree about Flynn. Did you see that Stone is a subject of an upcoming documentary?

Between his hubris and anger management issues, it wouldn't be surprising if some info comes out from that.


http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/03/05/longtime_trump_adviser_roger_stone_calls_critic_a_stupid_ignorant_ugly_bitch.html

Stone is one of several Trump allies who are allegedly under investigation for possible ties to Russian officials. He has repeatedly said investigators won’t find anything. “Sure they’ll get my grocery lists; they may get the emails between my wife and I, but here’s what they won’t get: any contact with the Russians,” Stone told CBS News.

A new documentary about Stone, titled, Get Me Roger Stone is set to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival next month before moving on to Netflix.

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Response to suffragette (Reply #19)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 02:39 PM

20. Interesting.

I hadn't been aware of that. Thank you.

The White House appears to be in a Nixon lock-down mode, as far as answering questions about Trump's false claims. I suspect that soon after next Monday, they will fire Comey.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 02:22 PM

9. I'm clearing my calendar

Nice post Waterman

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Response to malaise (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 02:27 PM

10. Right!

People need to instruct their elected representatives to make as many hearings public (televised) as possible. There are currently a few republicans who believe that airing the hearings could do their party more harm in 2018 than restricting public access. (McCain and his sidekick are taking the opposite position).

Nice song selection!!!!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #10)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 02:59 PM

12. Great idea

Food courts can help with public TVs and folks can ask to see them.

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Response to malaise (Reply #12)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 06:45 PM

14. Very good.

Thank you.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 07:55 PM

15. Good essay

H2O man!

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Response to voteearlyvoteoften (Reply #15)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 09:03 PM

18. Thanks!

I appreciate your interest in it. I suspect that I'll be posting more about this topic later this week.

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