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Peter Martin
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Posted: 03 June 2018 at 6:56am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Paul Buchanan asked:

"Why was an FBI plant/informant/spy placed in the Trump campaign without Trumps knowledge, and why wasn't one placed in Clinton's campaign as well?"

The FBI investigation into Russian meddling in the US election began as a counterintelligence one, not a criminal investigation. The use of a covert source is consistent with caution. An FBI counterintelligence operation seeks to monitor or neutralise foreign intelligence activity in the US. A criminal investigation seeks to identify a crime.

The FBI used an intelligence source so as to not raise any red flags with the Russians -- AND to protect the Trump campaign. The FBI could have directly interviewed those they suspected of having Russian ties, such as Papadopolous, and this would have most likely forced the Russian to back off once it became clear the FBI were watching. But it would also have put the Trump campaign in a terrible position. The media would have learnt that people from the campaign were being questioned, but as counterintelligence operations are classified, the FBI would not have been able to say why they were targeting Russia rather than the campaign itself.

In other words, the FBI were not looking for criminal wrongdoing in the Trump campaign at the time, so avoided creating any speculation that they were. They used an unintrusive method of information gathering -- a covert source -- not a spy or a criminal informant.

If you're looking for a double standard, there's the big question of why Comey took such unusual step against Hillary, such as publicly dressing her down instead of simply saying they weren't pursuing the email investigation any further, which is the FBI's standard policy.


I think its clear if they were seeking to conduct a very secret counterintelligence operation and were extremely fearful of leaks why they didn't tell Trump.

As for why there was no counterintelligence put into Hillary's campaign, why would they do this? They were seeking to thwart a hostile country's attempt to infiltrate Trump's campaign, an effort started because they had identified a number of people in the campaign with significant ties to Russia. No such people existed in Hillary's campaign. Should they have just stuck one there for the hell of it?


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Eric Ladd
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Posted: 03 June 2018 at 7:12am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Nice post, Peter. I am always baffled when people ask for equal treatment for activities that are in no way equal. Hilary didn't have "an FBI plant/informant/spy" placed in her campaign because there was no indication anyone from her campaign was in contact with the Russian?! THAT is just unfair!!!
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Dave Kopperman
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Posted: 03 June 2018 at 9:03am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

 Paul Buchanan wrote:
I don't post a lot because I don't have time to.

Uh?
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Michael Sommerville
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Posted: 03 June 2018 at 12:17pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

One thing I do find interesting Is how Trump has been able to make grown, mature, intelligent people name call like children. He is called childish for the nicknames, and rightly so, but so many seem to justify calling him names. How many would/did decry people calling Obama immature names, like, Obuma, Dumbama, Hussein Obama and roll their eyes and think grow up? Don't those same people lose the intellectual high ground when they refer to Trump as, Grump, Rump, Chump, etc. The same action directed at two different people is either acceptable or not for both.
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 03 June 2018 at 12:29pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Yeah Rex Tillerson, it's not adult to call your boss a moron. :^|
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Michael Sommerville
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Posted: 03 June 2018 at 12:47pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I see that as a different thing. I think that if a person says "Obuma said x, y ,z" then I think at person is closed minded, but it is fine to say Trump is a moron because you can have a discussion to back it up. 

I guess, in my mind, by bastardizing a person's name it is a way to dehumanize them so you can say anything. I think it always weakens an argument. 
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 03 June 2018 at 1:07pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

It's a good point. Some people will also go on about hair and especially make fun of the weight of various public figures. It's almost like a Monty Python old ladies skit "Ooh, no... I don't like his hair."


Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 03 June 2018 at 1:09pm
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Dave Kopperman
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Posted: 03 June 2018 at 1:14pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

 Michael Sommerville wrote:
I guess, in my mind, by bastardizing a person's name it is a way to dehumanize them so you can say anything.

Agreed completely.  It's also weirdly insidious, to a point where people aren't even aware that they're doing it.  During the 2016 primaries, it alarmed me to see how many of the more self-described progressive friends in my feed would consistently refer to Bernie Sanders as "Bernie" and Hillary Clinton as "HRC."  The former sounds like a pal, the latter sounds like a corporate entity.  Since they were Bernie supporters and I was a Hillary supporter, I was definitely much more aware of the subtle depersonalization of Hillary as part of the emotional undercurrent in their belief system.

The Trump/Rump thing is both the same and different - it's clearly deliberate, and is very intentionally meant as disrespectful, but it does have the same net effect - if you're inclined to find a pretext to dismiss someone's comments out of hand, their dismissal of "your guy" in such manner will give you the ammunition to do so.

I, of course, loathe Trump, and I do feel that his constant name-calling and dismissiveness of pretty much everybody who isn't a rich, white, straight, non-disabled Christian man has earned him any number of mocking sobriquets that I can easily get on board with, but I definitely admit that I cede the ability to enter a debate unbiased (to the other participants) if I lead with that.
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Thomas Woods
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Posted: 03 June 2018 at 1:41pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Acting Presidential: Bill Clinton

I saw a clip of Bill Clinton being interviewed and he
is really good at playing the old man innocent
traditional type, in interviews and on late night show
appearances.

When asked what he thought about Trumps tweets, he
said something like "My mom would have spanked me
repeatedly for talking like that."

I somewhat agree with him that the internet is full of
vile brats spewing all kinds of things that deserve a
spanking from their parents, but I wanted to say, "The
parents are doing it too!"
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Charles Valderrama
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Posted: 03 June 2018 at 1:56pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

One thing I do find interesting Is how Trump has been able to make grown, mature, intelligent people name call like children. He is called childish for the nicknames, and rightly so, but so many seem to justify calling him names.

******
I'd say that he's getting a small dose of his own medicine. You can certainly find it immature, but sometimes the way to shut down an obnoxious bully is to stand up to them in terms they understand.

 'Course, with Trump, more effort must be made to show him that he's no Emperor... that he must, as a world leader, act Presidential.

-C!
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Charles Valderrama
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Posted: 03 June 2018 at 2:07pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Without condoning Nugent, I think had someone called Obama's daughters what she called Trump's daughter, that person would have lucky just to lose their job. And beyond that it was never done.

*****
I'm in awe that anyone could draw such a simple comparison.

Learning much about Trump's 'Merica.

-C!
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Thomas Woods
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Posted: 03 June 2018 at 6:07pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I've been speculating on this Trump colluding with the
Russian government thing and what is going on if they
actually DO have something on it.

They would have to be weighing the worth of it.

- How can Putin save face, he has already denied
everything, will it hurt our relations and any
dealings with them in the future?

- If Putin has dirt on them, he could come out and
reveal things they don't want revealed in retaliation.
If Russia has been hacking us, which I'm sure they do,
they must be setting on a treasure of information that
could hurt many in the political system.

- If the wikileaks exposure of the DNC rigging things
against Sanders, is all Trump and Russia did together,
is that worth bringing Hillary and the DNC into the
spotlight again. Is that worth upturning the whole
thing and pissing off half or more of the country ...
what fallout will take place? Will there be riots.

If they do actually have something I think they are
worried about some or all of that.

Edited by Thomas Woods on 03 June 2018 at 6:16pm
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Michael Sommerville
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Posted: 03 June 2018 at 7:23pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

It is foolish to speculate about the Russia inquiry and the Trump campaign  because most of the publicly known information can be used to support both conclusions. 

Take one thing  and one person that people know, the meeting in Trump tower with the Russian lawyer. Kushner was part of a group that met with  someone that has ties to the Kremlin for information on Clinton. Looks like a slam dunk for working with Russians for one side. The other side could argue that Kushner was cleared for Top Secret clearance by the FBI so the worst he did was have bad judgment. 

Most people have their conclusion and use only the information that supports them and disregard any argument to the contrary as partisan. Both sides are guilty of this. When some people read a book they think they know how it will end.  A Trump in Russia's pocket or a Witch hunt story is more interesting but there are only a few people that have enough facts to write the critical chapter to this story and then the people can write the ending.


Edited by Michael Sommerville on 03 June 2018 at 7:25pm
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Richard Stevens
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Posted: 04 June 2018 at 7:17am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

The birther thing was ridiculous, but it was a drop in the bucket compared to what Trump gets accused of.

You know, except for the fact that Obama didn't do anything to fucking get accused of not being born in the country, except win an election in a country packed with racists.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 04 June 2018 at 7:27am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

You know, starting off most mornings with shouts about "witch hunts" and other nonsense makes me think of "Methinks protest too much!"

If he's not guilty, then why the constant mid-morning tweets? He has completely eroded the dignity of the Office of the President with his tweets. People expect a better standard from their leaders, but US citizens have a president who tweets insults, names and other stuff. Indefensible. 

Maybe he could tweet about Puerto Rico or Detroit. Or many other issues.
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Eric Ladd
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Posted: 04 June 2018 at 7:56am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Michael, I agree that people will interpret facts to support one view or another. But before we can argue if Kushner's top secret clearance allows him to meet with Natalia Veselnitskaya or doesn't allow the meeting we must consult the voting and election laws. These laws should be held in higher regard on this matter than someone's opinion about the latitude granted by a top secret security clearance. Kushner and Don Jr. were either ignorant of the laws and regulations regarding the US Presidential election process or disregarded them completely. Every country has laws regarding outside interference on national elections. I learned about this from a manga series call Sanctuary as a kid. People are free to interpret all they want, but not reporting the meeting and in fact encouraging the meeting seems to be treasonous.
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Michael Sommerville
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Posted: 04 June 2018 at 8:39am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

My comment about the top secret clearance is that the FBI vetted Kushner and found nothing to exclude him,I would assume treason is grounds for exclusion. 

I just used that as an example of two narratives people use to support their own conclusions. I am not saying I support either, just that no one truly knows but the investigators.

I do not think defending yourself is really a sign of guilt. I do think almost anyone who was publicilly accused of some scandal/crime would vigorously deny any wrong doing. 


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Fred J Chamberlain
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Posted: 04 June 2018 at 8:41am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

There is a difference between defending oneself and hyper vigilance,
exhibited by hyperbole, grandstanding and bashing and undermining
sacred institutions.... especially troubling, when it comes from a
“leader”.
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Robin Taylor
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Posted: 04 June 2018 at 8:58am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Kushner received permanent security clearance by the White House not the FBI. 

Innocent people don't assert the need to pardon themselves.


RT
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Eric Ladd
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Posted: 04 June 2018 at 9:37am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Michael, I understand your use of the clearance as an example. What I am trying to point out is as you state, portions of the population interpreting the actions of the individuals how they see fit, but do so without regard to the law. I've heard council use the "everybody does this illegal activity" statement to ignore the fact that the activity is illegal in the first place. We aren't talking about J-Walking for crying out loud. And as others have mentioned, the veracity employed to claim innocence is suspect. Today was particularly troubling when I heard Giuliani states that the President can murder in cold blood, but before they can be prosecuted you have to impeach them. I don't remember the office of the President allowing any activity, especially illegal activity, free from prosecution without achieving impeachment first. This seems like an overly broad interpretation of the powers of the President to me.
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Michael Casselman
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Posted: 04 June 2018 at 10:54am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

'Permanent' security clearance. 

Sigh... Another construct of the press.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 04 June 2018 at 11:11am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

'Permanent' security clearance.

Sigh... Another construct of the press.

——

How would you distinguish from “interim security clearance”?
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Michael Casselman
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Posted: 04 June 2018 at 12:09pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

"Active'. Perhaps "Current'. And then further by the appropriate level of clearance. No clearances are 'permanent'. There are reinvestigations and applications to continue clearances every few years, which, if are not completed in a timely manner, can result in the removal or downgrading of a clearance.

Edited by Michael Casselman on 04 June 2018 at 12:18pm
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Fred J Chamberlain
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Posted: 04 June 2018 at 12:11pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Weren't most of us brought up in a time that the guy
being touted as being above the law, was ALWAYS the bad
guy?
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Thomas Woods
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Posted: 04 June 2018 at 3:16pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

If he's not guilty, then why the constant mid-morning
tweets? He has completely eroded the dignity of the
Office of the President with his tweets.

---

Because that is all the news wants to talk about.

He may have eroded the dignity of the Office, but you
have to admit his tactics throughout his election and
after (so far) have been very effective, it got him in
office.

His opposition would LOVE for him restore the dignity
because then they could freely direct the narrative
without his interference. He is using Social media to
get his word out.

There is no way those other Republicans could have
withstood the onslaught by tuning the other cheek.   
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