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March 09, 2017

Rolling Stone Cautions Leftist Reporters About Pinning Their Hopes on the Yuri Theory of Trump's Rise

Rolling Stone, not having any false accusations of rape in the hopper, turns to liberal sap Matt Taibbi to warn other liberal saps not to put too much of their professional and institutional reputation on something for which there is exactly no evidence to support.

JAMES CLAPPER: We did not include any evidence in our report, and I say, "our," that's N.S.A., F.B.I. and C.I.A., with my office, the Director of National Intelligence, that had anything, that had any reflection of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians. There was no evidence of that...

CHUCK TODD: I understand that. But does it exist?

JAMES CLAPPER: Not to my knowledge.

Todd pressed him to elaborate.

CHUCK TODD: If [evidence of collusion] existed, it would have been in this report?

JAMES CLAPPER: This could have unfolded or become available in the time since I left the government.

This is the former Director of National Intelligence telling all of us that as of 12:01 a.m. on January 20th, when he left government, the intelligence agencies had no evidence of collusion between Donald Trump's campaign and the government of Vladimir Putin's Russia.

Virtually all of the explosive breaking news stories on the Trump-Russia front dating back months contain some version of this same disclaimer.

There is a lot of smoke in the Russia story.... [Traces of "smoke" omitted for length and for them being common knowledge -- ace]

But the manner in which these stories are being reported is becoming a story in its own right. Russia has become an obsession, cultural shorthand for a vast range of suspicions about Donald Trump.

The notion that the president is either an agent or a useful idiot of the Russian state is so freely accepted in some quarters that Beck Bennett's shirtless representation of Putin palling with Alec Baldwin's Trump is already a no-questions-asked yuks routine for the urban smart set.

And yet, this is an extraordinarily complex tale that derives much of its power from suppositions and assumptions.

If there's any truth to the notion that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian state to disrupt the electoral process, then yes, what we're seeing now are the early outlines of a Watergate-style scandal that could topple a presidency.

But it could also be true that both the Democratic Party and many leading media outlets are making a dangerous gamble, betting their professional and political capital on the promise of future disclosures that may not come.

Let me clear everything up for everybody:

No one in the federal Deep State has any evidence of wrongdoing. That's precisely why they're feeding the press the "smoke" -- to encourage the press to investigate, in hopes of finding the fire they know must exist, but haven't found themselves yet.

You do not need the press to find the evidence if you yourself have already found the evidence.

And furthermore, if you have proof of a crime, you do not need to spin to trump up perfectly-legal "contacts" into a pseudo-crime and likely violation of the very silly Logan Act.

The very fact that this crew has been pushing the silly, unenforced and in fact unenforceable Logan Act as the predicate crime that Trump's guilty of is all the evidence you need they got nothing more.

Let's talk about the Logan Act for a bit. Or rather, let's talk about why serious people don't talk about the Logan Act. The Logan Act is to national security laws about what phrenology is to medical science. Since its passage in 1799, no one's ever been convicted under the Logan Act, and just about every legal expert agrees it is wildly unconstitutional and runs counter to the First Amendment. George Logan, the senator whose actions motivated the passage of the law, was never even charged under it. Seriously, the only man charged under the law was a Kentucky farmer who wrote a newspaper article in 1803 about American territories allying with France--and even he was never prosecuted. The fact the Logan Act is still on the books is an accident of history, and to the extent it has been discussed in modern times, it's almost exclusively invoked by cranks and the conspiracy-minded. Most recently, it's become a dog-whistle bugaboo for the fever-swamps of left. There was a minor flap in 2015 where liberal activists argued that when Sen. Tom Cotton and 46 other senators signed a letter criticizing the Iran deal, they were guilty of Logan Act violations. Again, under the Logan Act, anyone who writes a newspaper article about foreign policy is potentially guilty of violating it.

This is not the equivalent of trying to get Capone on tax evasion, because tax evasion is a real crime.

This is the equivalent of trying to get Capone on a silly thing that is not a crime. Such as the non-crime of Wearing of a Black Hat with a White Headband with Malice Aforethought.

Or such as the non-crime of the Logan Act itself.

One does not peddle frivolities if one has treason and espionage in stock.

Take this tweet from John Schindler (@20committee), who frequently says Trump will wind up in jail.

Wait - the impression I got from the X-Files crew was that they already had the goods. I thought this was already all proven, just waiting for the appropriate time to divulge.

That's certainly the impression I've gotten from the breathless media reporting of incomplete facts. That's the insinuation I got from all their ". . ." more to come speculations.

Now you're telling me that if SERIOUS additional investigation is conducted, you're confident it will find enough intel to send Trump to jail?

So do they have this information, or do they have suspicions of such information's existence and that a "SERIOUS" enough investigation will confirm their suspicions?

Because you know, there's a rather wide gulf between "I suspect the shit out of this guy and if you just do the homework I'm reasonably certain you'll find what you need to take him down" and "I've already seen the information and it is damning."

"Will find" =/= "has been found." Spelled completely differently. Just look at the two and compare. One has a bunch more letters, for one thing.

Obama deliberately scattered the "goods on Trump," such as they are, into as many Deep State hands as possible so that they would all have sufficient cover to leak "the goods."

But they have not leaked "the goods." They have leaked evidence of... "contacts." As if it's a criminal thing for an incoming administration to do basic diplomatic outreach to a foreign power.

You know, like the sorts of "contacts" Obama aides had with Iran and even Hamas before Obama officially assumed power.

If they had the goods, 1, they would have already leaked them, or 2, they would have kept them secret as they prepared the indictment of Trump, and then leaked them if someone like Sessions ordered them to stand down.

Ergo, they do not have the goods. If they had the goods, they'd have already leaked, or no claims at all would have been leaked as a criminal case was prepared.

The fact that they're always leaking partial truths about "contacts" and encouraging speculation How much more is out there to discover? is proof that the things they wish to be discovered have not in fact been discovered.

But they will keep fanning the media hysteria so that the media undertakes the further Snipe Hunting business of finding "the goods" which will land Trump in jail.

Until the Sellers of The Goods stop making promises about the high quality and game-changing nature of the goods and actually show us the goods so that we may evaluate them, I'm gonna rely on the old Lao Tzu aphorism: "He who knows, does not speak; and he who speaks, does not know."

This is officially Dumb. I will take seriously claims about UFOs and Bigfoot the very moment the evidence is produced such as to make a reasonable person reasonably confident about the existence of UFOs and Bigfoot.

I am tired of hearing that evidence about proof of a massive government coverup of the existence of UFOs and Bigfoot is just around the corner, if people would only Believe.

Correction: Commenters have alerted me to the fact that the Andy McCarthy piece I cited (now no longer cited) said the New York Times had changed a headline to delete the reference to Trump being "wiretapped." McCarthy says now that these were two different headlines, and nothing had been changed.

Given the error, I've deleted that part of the post, as, well, not accurate. Like McCarthy, I apologize for the error.

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posted by Ace at 06:46 PM

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