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Fiendish Thingy

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Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 12:00 PM
Number of posts: 13,777

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WaPo confirms Grand Jury has been convened to subpoena "officials in Trump's orbit"

Don’t know how I missed this story yesterday:


In the past two months, a federal grand jury in Washington has issued subpoena requests to some officials in former president Donald Trump’s orbit who assisted in planning, funding and executing the Jan. 6 rally, said the people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.
The development shows the degree to which the Justice Department investigation — which already involves more defendants than any other criminal prosecution in the nation’s history — has moved further beyond the storming of the Capitol to examine events preceding the attack.

Edit to add:

NYT is also on this story:
One subpoena cited by the Times reportedly sought information on those “classified as VIP attendees” of the rally. It also reportedly inquired about any figures in the Executive or Legislative Branches who took part in “planning or execution of any rally or any attempt to obstruct, influence, impede or delay” the certification of election results.

More from the NYT (via MSNBC):

The Times specifically pointed to a grand jury sitting in Washington, D.C., which has issued subpoenas seeking information “about the effort by Trump supporters to put forward alternate slates of electors as Mr. Trump and his allies were seeking to challenge the certification of the Electoral College outcome by Congress on Jan. 6.”

Time for all the recreational complainers to pause and take a breath, and pay attention instead of ranting- you’ve been shown to be utterly, completely and absolutely wrong.

P.S. unlike a Congressional subpoena, one cannot ignore a grand jury subpoena without Swift consequences. Just ask Susan Macdougal.
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Thu Mar 31, 2022, 11:25 AM (114 replies)

How should the West respond to Ukraine? One rule: We cannot be afraid (of Putin/nukes)

From Anne Applebaum (who knows way more about Eastern European politics than you or I do) writing in the Atlantic:


Zelensky’s words resonated further because the Russians have also given this conflict enormous significance. The Russian foreign minister has just declared that this war will change global politics: “This is not about Ukraine at all, but the world order. The current crisis is a fateful, epoch-making moment in modern history. It reflects the battle over what the world order will look like.” Much as Stalin once declared that, when the Second World War ended, “everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach,” President Vladimir Putin had planned for the Russian army to impose Russia’s autocratic, kleptocratic political system on all of Ukraine. Already, the Russian occupation of some eastern-Ukrainian towns resembles the Soviet occupation of Central Europe at the end of World War II. Public officials and civic leaders—mayors and police but also members of parliament, journalists, museum curators—have been arrested and not seen since. Civilians have been terrorized at random. In Mariupol, authorities report that citizens are being forcibly deported to Russia, just as Soviet secret police deported Balts, Poles, and others to Russia after the invasions of 1939 and 1945. In the case of a Russian victory, these tactics would be applied all over Ukraine, creating mass terror, mass violence, and instability for years to come. And, yes, if we accept that outcome, autocrats from Minsk to Caracas to Beijing will take note: Genocide is now allowed.


How should the West respond? There is only one rule: We cannot be afraid. Russia wants us to be afraid—so afraid that we are crippled by fear, that we cannot make decisions, that we withdraw altogether, leaving the way open for a Russian conquest of Ukraine, and eventually of Poland or even further into Europe. Putin remembers very well an era when Soviet troops controlled the eastern half of Germany. But the threat to those countries will not decrease if Russia carries out massacres in Ukraine. It will grow.

Instead of fear, we should focus on a Ukrainian victory. Once we understand that this is the goal, then we can think about how to achieve it, whether through temporary boycotts of Russian gas, oil, and coal; military exercises elsewhere in the world that will distract Russian troops; humanitarian airlifts on the scale of 1948 Berlin; or more and better weapons.

The specific tactics will be determined by those who best understand diplomacy and military strategy. But the strategy has to be clear. A month ago, nobody believed this war would matter so much, and I’m sure many people wish it did not. But it does. That’s why every move we make must have a single goal: How does it help Ukraine win?

“ It’s not our war” was something we might have been able to say three weeks ago. Not now.

More at link, expanding on Applebaum’s compelling argument.

Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Tue Mar 22, 2022, 04:06 PM (29 replies)

NATO must go to war against Putin now, with the US and Biden...

…or they will surely have to go to war with Putin later, likely without the US if Trump is reinstalled as president.

Rather than hesitating out of fear that Putin will use nukes, NATO must vigorously defend Ukraine, in Ukraine, and force the question to Putin’s inner circle: “am I willing to sacrifice my life and the lives of my loved ones for Vladimir Putin?”

It’s an awful dilemma, and a risky bet, wagering that the Moscow elite will remove Putin rather than risk Armageddon, but if the west doesn’t take the bet now, they will be forced to take it later, on Putin’s terms.

NATO could enter Ukraine on Humanitarian terms, or because the risk to the nuclear power plants endangers all of Europe. Even if Putin launched a single strategic nuclear strike at Ukraine, the tide would turn against him quickly both in Russia and around the world.

The Window of opportunity is narrowing; the sanctions are gradually taking effect (SWIFT ban didn’t fully kick in until today), but Putin’s shifting tactics of scorched earth could mean that Kyiv, and the Zelenskyy government, don’t have much time left.

Clarifying note: I am not proposing NATO join the war to defend Ukraine immediately, today. I am suggesting that the window to do so is narrowing rapidly with Putin’s shift in tactics from seizing control of the country to reducing it to rubble. While it would be nice to wait and let the sanctions have their impact, I’m not sure sanctions will trigger an overthrow of Putin (the only way this war ends) before Ukraine is completely destroyed by missiles and bombs.

A much more articulate, detailed argument for this position can be found here:


Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Fri Mar 11, 2022, 04:45 PM (161 replies)
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