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Posts Tagged → Scandal

FBI and DOJ Used as Political Weapons, Now What

Recently released emails and texts between FBI agents and Department of Justice officials in the immediately past administration demonstrate that both institutions were completely politicized. Using their official crime-fighting jobs for gaining political power and blocking the will of the American People is the most corrupt thing possible.

A political party wrote fake accusations against a competing US presidential candidate, and those accusations were then used to acquire a search warrant to spy on his political campaign and on the people in it by the sitting administration, which supported the other US presidential candidate.

So we have a presidential administration using official American employees to pursue that administration’s political goals. That’s awful, and illegal.

But it gets worse.

Then the fake accusations and the fake search warrant were used to justify a special investigation into the new president. Making it worse, the special investigator hired dozens of lawyers who were openly partisan and officially associated with the opposing political party. Meaning they are not objective and operating at arm’s length, pursuing justice. They are already political activists.

Making it worse-worse, the FBI agents and DOJ staff in charge of ensuring American law is not broken reveal themselves to be using their professional jobs for purely political purposes here, previously and DURING THE INVESTIGATION ITSELF. They are openly partisan and basing their official actions on their personal values and political loyalties. That’s awful, and illegal, and criminal.

But it gets worse.

Then the special investigator began investigating everyone associated with the president, as well as the president, for everything they had ever done in their lives, going back decades. None of this investigating has anything to do with the original search warrant. This is called a ‘fishing expedition’, and it violates the most basic premise of American justice and law. This is awful, and illegal.

But it gets worse.

Then the special investigator began to entrap the subjects of his investigations, not on the original grounds of the investigation, but on the subjective and vague accusation that the people were trying to hinder his investigation. Not that they had actually committed crimes, but that they were trying to block or obstruct the investigation into whether or not they had actually committed the crimes on which the search warrant was originally issued.

This is called a ‘process crime’.

It is usually a flimsy charge, easily disputed, and is usually associated with getting criminals to more easily own up to their actual crimes for which they were originally targeted.

But in this investigation, it is the ONLY purported “crime” with which anyone is being investigated or charged. So it’s not that anyone being investigated here actually broke a law, but they are being charged with trying to avoid being charged with no proof that they actually did anything they would be charged with in the first place.

This is awful and a violation of everything that America stands for. Not to mention our Constitution.

So we have a political witch hunt, based on paid political activity by the opposing political party, illegally enabled by a sitting president and his staff, illegally implemented by the supposedly professional, non-political bureaucrats who work for the American people to ensure that American law is followed and that real criminals go to jail.

And it turns out the biggest criminals involved are the previous administration, the special investigator, and the FBI agents and DOJ staff who made this whole investigation happen in the first place.

The 1972 Watergate scandal is used as the basis for judging all political scandals, because it was considered so outlandish and unacceptable that it brought down the sitting president, Richard Nixon.

Well, by Watergate standards, this “Russia collusion” investigation by Mueller into Trump is the biggest political scandal ever in American history. It is so big, and so terrible that it has no parallel. It is so evil, and so illegal, that it is impossible to describe as anything other than earth-shaking. The number of FBI agents, DOJ staff, and special investigators (especially Robert Mueller, who knew all along that his investigation was founded on and actually run by corrupt FBI agents) who should be under indictment right now numbers in the dozens.

When the foundation of American justice, the FBI and the DOJ, are so deeply corrupted and used as political weapons to protect political power by one political party, then we have a serious crisis. An enormous crisis.

Were there to be any legal decisions or criminal charges to emanate from this corrupt investigation, our entire rule of law will be called into question. It would mean that whoever controls the official institutions of American crime control and justice will control the entire legal process, and they can do what third-world dictatorships do: Simply accuse their political opponents of vague crimes, charge them, process them through phony kangaroo courts, and lock them up or execute them.

With so many federal judges already amassing political power unto themselves, with the American media protecting them and the previous administration, America is much closer to a serious political crisis than people understand. How this Mueller investigation plays out is anyone’s guess, but we have one political party absolutely going for broke to protect their political power by bringing down a properly elected president they oppose.

And on the other hand, we have a supposedly opposing political party that, with a few exceptions, is mostly silent about the attempted coup d’etat now under way.

Let us ask this question: What if the current president decided to do what was being done to him? Let’s say the current president decides to use the FBI and DOJ to criminalize and prosecute his political enemies. People who have done nothing more than oppose him politically are suddenly either criminal suspects or are actually charged with crimes.

You OK with that?

You call that a scandal? I’ll show you a scandal

New Jersey governor Chris Christie is rightly under fire for shutting down eastbound traffic lanes across the George Washington Bridge into NYC.

Emails, texts, and other sources used by Christie’s senior staff paint an unflattering picture of a guy using every means possible to punish politicians, and citizens, who don’t do what he wants. Like endorse him for reelection. It’s criminal behavior on its face and also because at least one person died due to traffic backups and slow ambulance service.

Amazing now how the American media is buzzing with this scandal, but the deadly Benghazi scandal (abandonment of US personnel and subsequent coverup of their cruel deaths) and the criminal IRS political scandal (destruction of elementary Constitutional principles in government behavior) are nearly off the media’s radar. Where’s the buzz about these huge scandals? Where are the public demands for justice, the mocking, the sneers, the tongue-clucking among network news anchors that they now employ against Christie?

On one hand, we have a scandal about traffic. On the other hand, we have multiple scandals about earth-shaking abuse of power, criminal negligence, undermining of the Constitution that holds America together and guarantees citizen rights. It’s impossible to justify reporting on the bridge, but not on Benghazi, IRS, US Dept. of Justice malfeasance, etc.

I regularly listen to NPR radio, and this double standard was especially strong there, as would be expected.

This double standard, or political activism masquerading as journalism, is just one more example of how the national media have abandoned their watchdog role and are now partisan cheerleaders.

According to the establishment media, Obama can’t do anything wrong; Republicans can’t do anything right. It’s shameful and all the more reason for new, additional fair and balanced news outlets. It’s why citizen reporters are the real journalists.

Harrisburg’s descent marked by stupid stuff

Harrisburg City now charges cars at over-time meters $30.00, and $50.00 if you don’t respond within four days.

It’s an egregious amount of money to pay for a stupid meter violation.

Four days is hardly enough time in this day and age to do anything. If you’ve got a job, kids, and volunteer work, the ticket either lays on your car seat for two days or sits on your kitchen desk for a week before you get to it. That’s normal. Now, Harrisburg City is engaging in predatory behavior.

Remind me to avoid meetings downtown, and to invite people to meetings away from the city, where parking is not a predatory scheme to rip off citizens so rip-off artists can stay out of jail.

That’s what this is about: Making money to cover costs that were incurred through the incinerator scandal.

Good luck with rebuilding our beloved city by chasing away the people you need.

Cascade Effect

When a snow avalanche plows over a mountainside, everything in its path falls, breaks, bends, severely, or gets swept under and away.

Avalanches do not happen all at once. First there’s a little spill of snow at the top. That bumps something larger down below, and so on. A cascade effect gathers momentum, and pretty soon the whole shebang is blasting full steam ahead.

Such is the state of the administration in Washington. Historic scandals at the IRS, Dept. of Justice, State Dept., and so on are building up steam. Partisans are ignoring them all, pooh-poohing them, hoping voters don’t pay attention. But eventually, that cascade will reach its full force.

Santorum Opportunism Pisses Off Penn Staters

I like him, but last week, presidential candidate Rick Santorum appeared to be riding the Penn State scandal as a wave to carry along his campaign. Penn State should not play in a bowl game, Santorum said, regardless of the football team’s final standings.

As I write this, Penn State has just defeated Ohio State and looks to be headed to a well-deserved bowl game.

Why would Santorum have anything to say about the scandal beyond some well-placed and justified reflections on the university’s failed leadership? Why would anyone seek to punish the players, whose hard work deserves to be rewarded?

Well, over the years Rick has made a name for himself as a voice for morality and clarity in a world full of moral relativism, and I often support him. Even when I occasionally disagree with a particular position he may take, I appreciate and support his outspoken advocacy for morally clear decision making in government.

Rick certainly has a lot of friends in Pennsylvania, and he can normally count me among them.

However, I share the reaction among many Penn Staters who are pissed off at Rick over his recent criticism. It appears to be nothing more than political opportunism by a candidate seeking to get his name into the headlines. By criticizing the Penn State football team, Santorum appears to many to be trying to take advantage of a difficult situation to make himself look good, or to attract attention to himself.

He would not be the first political candidate to do that, but for someone who has been rightly recognized for having clear thinking, this looks like aberrant and mean-spirited thinking.

In 2000 and 2006 I was a volunteer on both of Santorum’s re-election campaigns, and if he were doing better in the polls, I might volunteer for his presidential campaign now. But what I am looking for right now is a statement from Rick that he mis-spoke, and that he does not want to punish a group of people who had nothing to do with the scandal, or further damage Penn State.

Penn State is already going through a lot of difficulties, and it will continue to do so for years to come, not to mention the kids who were (allegedly) subjected to Sandusky’s abuse. Santorum’s criticism does nothing to remedy the situation; it only throws fuel on the fire, punishes more innocent people, and further damages Penn State’s standing.

Come clean, Rick, admit that you made a mistake. If you do that, I think you’ll prove to people that you are indeed a good guy, and not the opportunistic headline grabber that you recently appeared to be.

Earthquake in State College, Now Here Comes the Tsunami

Earthquake in State College, Now Here Comes the Tsunami
© By Josh First
November 6, 2011

Late this past week an earthquake was felt in State College, and the resulting cascade of day-by-day events signal that a tsunami is following close behind. If you think that an earthquake is bad, wait until the tsunami hits. It’s much worse than the earthquake.

First the earthquake: Jerry Sandusky was a household name in the State College I grew up in, the 1970s through the 1980s, when I graduated from Penn State. Heir apparent to coach Joe Paterno, Sandusky was a household name, a golden name. As the high-performing caretaker of Penn State’s famous “Linebacker U” identity, Sandusky epitomized the toughness, braininess, and determination of one of college football’s all-time greatest programs, the Penn State Nittany Lions.

That golden program’s glow illuminated all that sat in its shadow, and Happy Valley has radiated quiet quality and confident happiness for decades. Sandusky was at the center of an empire built on trust, integrity, and clean living, qualities of which we stodgy, old-fashioned old Penn Staters are tremendously proud. It’s all at risk, now.

Now, according to charges brought against him, Sandusky appears to be heading toward the lowest reputation a man can have, a pedophile. Of course, he is innocent until proven guilty, but the crimes appear to be so numerous, so egregious, that if even just one is eventually proven, it alone would be too much to bear. The whole debacle threatens to drag down Penn State with it.

For the first time in Penn State’s storied football program, and by extension the university’s own administrative reputation, an event so dramatic has occurred that it potentially strikes at the core of the universal happiness. After the earthquake, a stain is seen slowly spreading on the kingdom that Joe built. Guilt by association with the charges against Sandusky is not far behind.

And here’s that tsunami, bearing down on all of Penn State: According to additional charges announced a day later against PSU heavies Tim Curley (Athletic Director) and Gary Schultz (Vice President for Finance and the campus police), a house of cards artificially held Sandusky in place, professionally and socially. Despite rumors and actual eyewitness reports of Sandusky’s crimes being conveyed to Curley and Schultz, neither of them relayed the accusations to the police. Under their protective gaze, Sandusky continued to use his Second Mile charity for at-risk children to put yet more children at risk.

Schultz’s attorney claims that his client is under no obligation to report child abuse allegedly committed by a former employee. Yeah sure, that’ll fly, when Sandusky was allowed to use the same university facilities where some of the alleged assaults occurred because of his former Golden Boy status and tight small town, big program, charitable relationships with Tim Curley and Gary Schultz. It doesn’t matter whether the cops, district attorney, or a jury of their peers eventually agree with that line of thinking.

What matters most is public perception, and the general perception is that these two senior PSU executives demonstrated fatally poor judgment. That public perception is going to quickly become public pressure, and the two men will go into retirement some time in the coming weeks. We know it’s coming.

Adding insult to injury is PSU president Graham Spanier’s lame defense of Curley and Schultz. In what has to be the most public display of Good Old Boy Circle The Wagons defense we’ve seen since the tobacco company executives took their congressional oaths years ago, Spanier actually testified to the good judgment of both men and promised they would be exonerated.

Popularly known as ‘doubling down’, Spanier’s bigger bet on the two men is going to be a loser. Mr. Spanier, you can’t really be president of one of America’s premier academic institutions and defend the indefensible. Spanier is demonstrating the clueless arrogance that goes with all big fishes living in small ponds, and he, too, is about to feel the wrath of public pressure. If Spanier lasts another month as Penn State’s president, it’ll be a miracle.

And if you love Penn State as I do, which is fanatically, then the final outcome of this sordid affair is likely to be bittersweet.

With the Athletic Director spot about to be empty any day now, and with the President spot likely to be empty any week now, our aged hero, head coach Joe Paterno, will find himself all alone at the top of a heap over which he has little control. Change will be in the air in State College in the coming weeks, and it is unlikely that Paterno will survive it. Curley and Spanier both tried to bump Paterno out years ago, and both lost. They are soon to be gone, and new people with no history or loyalty to Joe will fill their seats. The new folks will make it a fast and final decision. Penn State will have a new coach within a year of now.

Like Penn State, the institution known as Coach Joe Paterno has my love, appreciation, admiration, and respect, for all of the obvious and same reasons he inspires that devotion among millions of others. I grew up with his wholesome kids and played in his all-American home, watched him recruit new players and listened to him lecture the young men on the straight-and-narrow Penn State way. He is a moral giant in a field crawling with opportunism and outright cheating. His example and principles are needed now more than ever. But if there is one more indication that Coach Paterno has lost the ability to hold on, it’s that he didn’t blow the whistle on Sandusky with more force.

Right now, Penn State is reeling from the earthquake. But no one can withstand a tsunami. What will be left at University Park after the coming tidal wave passes through will be interesting. Hopefully, what is left will be a return to the simple, humble, noble traditions that made us Nittany Lions great to begin with.

© Josh First, licensed to Rock The Capital, www.rockthecapital.com