The Prestige: How Trump Could Pull Off The Ultimate Trick in Shutting Down The Mueller Investigation

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on a novel way that President Donald Trump could use the Whitaker appointment to achieve what he has long sought: freezing or even ending the Mueller investigation.  As strange as it may seem, it could actually work if played correctly by the White House.  The White House could theoretically get a court to enjoin the Mueller investigation and keep Mueller frozen in amber until Trump’s final year when impeachment would practically impossible.

Here is the column:

The appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general of the United States this week has raised a chorus of objections over what is viewed as an effort by President Trump to gain control over and possibly scuttle the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller. Many have cited Whitaker’s past comments criticizing the investigation as evidence of such a nefarious design. But what if the greatest threat to Mueller is not Whitaker’s personal views but Whitaker’s government position?

As an official who was not confirmed by the Senate to serve in the Justice Department, Whitaker could prove to be a type of Mueller antimatter. His appointment makes the status of a special counsel, as one unconfirmed official reporting to another, more problematic. Whether intended or not, Trump may have just sent the Mueller investigation into a serious constitutional challenge. For those hoping for a shazam moment where Trump somehow makes Mueller disappear, that is not likely. However, he could pull off quite a show in having a court shut him down.

In any magic trick, the first move is the pledge where you do something common or ordinary. This whole controversy began with the appointment of a special counsel after former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the matter. That was an ordinary step that some of us advocated after President Trump fired then FBI director James Comey.

The status of independent and special counsels in the government has long been a controversy. The appointments clause of the Constitution mandates that high level officials in the executive branch, called “principal officers,” require a presidential nomination and Senate confirmation. Congress may allow a president to simply appoint, without confirmation, other “inferior officers,” as they see fit.

Mueller’s authority has been challenged by Paul Kamenar and the National Legal and Policy Center on behalf of Andrew Miller, a former aide to longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone. They argue that Mueller is exercising authority exceeding that of a United States attorney, a position that requires confirmation. He is, therefore, functioning as a United States attorney “at large” who exercises “principal officer” powers.

Despite excellent and good faith arguments from Kamenar, I have been skeptical of the position because the special counsel, unlike the earlier position of independent counsel, remains rooted within the Justice Department and subject to the authority of the attorney general or his designated subordinate, in this case Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is a principal officer confirmed by the Senate.

That brings us to surprise or “turn” in the trick where something extraordinary happens on stage. This here is the unexpected move of Trump appointing Whitaker, who had been chief of staff at the Justice Department, as the successor of Sessions, rather than simply elevating the deputy attorney general, as has been past practice.The chief of staff largely serves as an aide to the attorney general and does not have substantive duties over the different Justice Department divisions.

Critics argue that Whitaker does not meet Federal Vacancies Reform Act requirements, but I disagree with that argument. I disagree as well with the arguments that his public comments in the media before joining the Justice Department now requires him to recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation. However, there remains a more fundamental question, not whether Whitaker is unlawful under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, but whether that law itself is unconstitutional.

The position of the attorney general is clearly that of a principal officer requiring confirmation. Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, Whitaker will carry out attorney general functions without Senate confirmation for 210 days. He can then gain another 210 days if he, or some other nominee, fails to secure confirmation. That includes dealing with succession of the presidency and a host of other critical matters.

It makes little sense for the Constitution to specify that these functions can only be exercised by a confirmed individual unless a president simply declares him acting and immune from the requirements. President Trump could have a difficult time holding the conservative wing of the Supreme Court on such a question of plain meaning, including Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, who has previously written about the importance of such confirmations as a prerequisite to exercising such powers.

We move to the final stage of “prestige” when the magic occurs. The best legal argument in defense of Mueller was that he reported to Rosenstein, who is a confirmed official. Now that Mueller reports to Whitaker, you have an unconfirmed official exercising powers like a United States attorney and being overseen by an unconfirmed acting attorney general.

In other words, by appointing Whitaker, Trump has undermined the position of his own Justice Department in court in the aforementioned Miller case without directly firing Mueller. If Whitaker is left in place, and Trump has said there is “no rush” to fill the post permanently, the court could conclude that Mueller is now exercising powers reserved to confirmed “principal officers.” He could be barred from exercising those powers until an attorney general is nominated and confirmed.

Making this situation all the more intriguing would be if Trump then appoints someone whom the Democrats would likely oppose, such as former New Jersey governor Chris Christie. Yet, if the Democrats rejected such a nominee, they themselves would be the reason for keeping the Mueller investigation enjoined, rather than any direct executive action taken by Trump. That would be the ultimate “prestige” to this trick.

All of this depends, of course, on the court’s interpretation of the appointments clause, which remains unresolved, as well as a delay in the confirmation of a permanent attorney general. Nevertheless, Whitaker’s appointment could have significantly strengthened the challenge to Mueller. Indeed, this sequence of events could magnify the concern of judges about allowing special counsels to hold unconfirmed positions. What may have been seen as mere conjecture about reporting to another unconfirmed official is now the reality at the Justice Department.

Whitaker could remove this threat to the position of his own department by simply recusing himself and leaving the supervision of Mueller to Rosenstein. Yet, given Trump’s long fury over the recusal by Sessions, that likely would not go over well. Or Whitaker could presumably wait for a decision and recuse himself if the court considers his unconfirmed status to be a barrier to the completion of the Mueller investigation.

However, this is why the ultimate trick about this appointment may not be Whitaker’s views but Whitaker himself. Under this scenario, Trump appoints a chief of staff and abracadabra! Mueller disappears. It is admittedly unlikely to happen, but that would be quite a trick.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

211 thoughts on “The Prestige: How Trump Could Pull Off The Ultimate Trick in Shutting Down The Mueller Investigation”

  1. Up to your neck in swamp water, and sinking in muck and slime, does not make your views right.

  2. It won’t matter much at this point if Mueller is fired because when Democrats gain control of the House in January, they can simply subpoena him to share his findings. They can also hire Mueller to conduct an investigation for them. Unless the White House plans on killing Mueller, they won’t stop him now.

    They do not need White House approval to do either action.

    The time for harming the investigation by firing Mueller has run out now that Democrats won the House election.

    1. He has no findings anyone not a partisan Democrat would care about. That’s why he’s chasing people for process crimes.

      1. He hasn’t released his findings yet, so how can you know the country won’t want to hear these findings?

        1. Again, look at who has been subject to indictment. All of these indictments are PR stunts or are dance moves in attempts to extort perjured testimony. He doesn’t have any real crimes to prosecute.

          Again, the investigation has been ongoing for 27 months and change. In re the Whitewater scandal, the principal defendants had gone on trial by this point. (That investigation had no notable accomplishments after the 39 month mark). In re the Watergate investigation, the trial of the 3d and last set of consequential defendants opened just past the 27 month mark. Even the interminable Iran-Contra investigation had secured indictments against its main targets by this point. Mueller has nothing of note.

    2. Marry – the DOJ can play hide the documents for the next two years like they did with the Republicans and they can shut Mueller down with DOJ lawyers.

      1. The DOJ cannot hide documents that Mueller has saved on personal hard drives or shared with state AGs. He is well within his rights to share documents with states because the crimes involve multiple jurisdictions.

  3. ha ! my main man Stone saw the turley article. says turley is boring but it’s a good one

    close your eyes hate haters– it was on infowars… now this is not supposed to be on youtube but it was… it’s about 30 seconds after the clip starting point, watch for it around 1 hour 04 minutes


    Congress may impeach. Congress may refer. Congress may find contempt. But Congress is ineffectual and can’t actually do anything of substance or moment. Mueller is a waste of money. Congress has been wasting money (and nullifying the Constitution) since “Crazy Abe” Lincoln. Wasting money is what Congress does.

    Mitch McConnell is going to convict; or not.

    There are no crimes of high office against the President except those that may be manufactured over the next 2 years. If criminality mattered, Sessions, Rosenstein, Mueller/Team, Comey, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Kadzic, Yates, Baker, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Priestap, Kortan, Campbell, Steele, Simpson, Joseph Mifsud, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper, Kerry, Hillary, Huma, Brennan, Clapper, Farkas, Power, Lynch, Rice, Jarrett, Obama et al. would have been in prison a long, long time ago.

    “If Comey had indicted Hillary, Comey would have convicted Obama.”

    – Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review

    Peter Strzok, “We will stop him.”

    Lisa Page to Peter Strzok, “POTUS wants to know everything we’re doing.”

    Lisa Page to Congress, “The texts mean what the texts say.”

  5. While for a time now JT has been very open about his nitpicking for nat shit in pepper for Trump. JT can try to find any fine point he wants to protect Trump, and in the end he will as with others that got on that train, he will find it is already off the tracks. JT is free to latch on with Trump if he wishes, but maybe he should look around at the people that already have and get a lawyer.

    1. oh that’s rich. You I need a lawyer for daring to speak up for Trump too? The Democrats think they’re going to lawyer Americans to death if they say anything to help Trump: Fish Head just said so

      kind of like assange, or stone, or corsi, huh?

      here’s your “civil liberterians” America: you can agree with the Democrats or you’re a hater or maybe even a Russian spy!

      1. Mr. Kurtz, Is it one of your daily tasks to make a fool of yourself? Ask yourself a question, why is it that every major law firm in this country will not take Trump? While every American is entitled to a lawyer, as it should be, It sure looks like Trump’s team is going thru the phone books.

        1. nah i type on here for fun. you can think me a fool if you like. i dont care

          as for hiring Trump hiring lawyers, not sure what you mean.

          but what you know about it probably fits in a thimble. i have a little experience in hiring lawyers, however. enough to say that sometimes it is a lot more difficult than anyone can anticipate.

          back to trump. i found and article from march (hello it’s november now) that named 8 lawyers. let me tell you, there are a lot more than 8 major law firms in the US.

          trump may be whining about it for the same reasons other people do: it’s often harder than anyone can imagine, even when you have an ample budget

          and why? in political cases, it can be very simple. the client with a political case– be it left or right, cause popular or unpopular, principled or scurrilous– is doing something that will long outlive a 2 year legal court case. it may count for decades or generations. hence the client will be more uncontrollable than other clients who are just fighting over money. clients fighting about “principles” are some of the worst to represent for a lot of professional reasons that are inside baseball. but mostly it relates to “not having a client under control” very few lawyers with established reputations are willing to run these kinds of risky cases. and NOBODY is going to “control” DJT. that’s part of why we the people love him!

          lawyers and outfits that are good at political cases for example like ACLU that takes political cases every day– actually have a very careful and wise screening process carefully tailored to the organization’s specific goals and how it can use plaintiffs to advance the agenda, within the budget, and without burning too much the lawyers working for them.

          finally, the press is unpredictable. it will ignore the lawyer who represents a drug kingpin or murderer so as not to embarass him but take a lawyer in a political case and drag them through the mud.

          lawyers like press because it makes them money…. but press such the likes of what political cases can bring can make life too difficult. very few lawyers are publicity hounds on the level of a michael avenatti who embodies the notion that “any press is good press” … very few lawyers will go full retard like him

          1. Fishwings has a tendency to repeat talking points fed to him in headlines.

            How does anyone know this information? The article states: “Again, these are just the people we know Trump has reached out to, based on published reports in the press.” That is their proof? Crazy.

            Trump might reach out to a lot of people who he might decide do not fit his temperment and visa versa. Trump had a wide spectrum of activities so one has to think of conflict of interest along things of the nature Kurtz mentions.

            Who knows what is or is not true. One needs a bit between the ears when listening to this junk mentioned by Fishwings.

            1. I live in the real world, can you say the same? I’ve read your statements and it is very clear you ignore events and facts that don’t fit your view of the flat earth theory.

              1. I live in the real world,

                No one suggested your high school was in some imaginary world.

              2. Fishwings you live in a world of mazes and you are still on maze one.

                I wish you would bring up the events I ignore and the facts you believe I have stated incorrectly. If you do either I will give you a piece of cheese.

  6. Tell us, Jon, do you really want Trump and the Russians to get away with stealing the 2016 election? If you do, then what’s to stop the next candidate from doing the same thing? Have you seen the polls? In Mueller, Americans trust. In Trump, most Americans do not trust, and do not approve. They want Mueller to continue investigating and charging those found to have committed a crime. Are we going back to the time of Nixon, doing literally anything to get into the White House? What’s most interesting is that the closer Mueller gets to Trump, the more desperate people like you get to try to come up with something, anything to try to stop him. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and if no crimes were committed, then why all of the intrigue and conniving to avoid the truth? And, as a law professor, you do know better than to say that Whitaker is not compromised based on the things he has said and written about the Mueller investigation. He is not, and cannot be, objective. He must recuse. Maybe whatever state licensed him will bring a disciplinary complaint if he doesn’t do it voluntarily. What you’ve lost sight of is that the DOJ is supposed to be representing the American people. The American people want those who committed crimes to be brought to justice. This isn’t some political game.

    Trump ran on “draining the swamp”. Such hypocrisy!

    1. Lol Russians won the election. Is that why they gave Hillary the phony pee pee dossier? They acted like corporate interests that give money to both sides.

      You fools don’t get it. They undermined the election alright; and of course they interfered in it.

      Just at a more subtle and effective way than imagined. Hell I bet they are surprised at their own effectiveness! Nastrov’yeh tovarische!

      1. That belief that “the Russians stoled the 2016 election” might account for Maxine Waters’ statement that she wanted to impeach Putin, right after impeaching and removing Trump.
        There’d be some pretty high hurdles to clear in order to impeach Trump, but she’d find that impeaching Putin would be much more difficult.

    2. did Meuller run in the election? I don’t get that. you’d think there was a second election and bob meuller was elected successor to Trump and we just didn’t get the memo

    3. I’m wanting to know about Hillary-DNC-Christopher Steele-Russia collusion. Dossier, anyone ?

      1. Oh, and which one of Hillary’s crime family murdered Seth Rich? Inquiring minds want to know.

      2. Taxman,…
        US Attorney John Huber is reported to be working in tandem with Inspector General Horowitz in the investigation of various “unusual” activity related to the 2016 campaign.
        Mueller’s directive authorized only the investigation of the Trump campaign, and “anything else” Mueller could find on anyone connected with the Trump campaign.
        I haven’t seen any updates on Huber’s investigation since early 2018.
        Sessions selected Huber in November 2017 to investigate issues related to the 2016 campaign.
        This move was interpreted as an alternative to appointing a second Special Counsel to investigate the 2016 campaign; the scope of that investigation should include the involvement of foreign actors ( Steele, Russian sources) in campaign opposition research.

  7. There is no reason to shut down the Mueller Investigation. In fact, I believe that it should be a permanent fixture in government to not only continue to investigate Donald Trump long after he leaves office, but to investigate all other troublesome individuals that refuse to go along with the Establishment agenda.

      1. your pathetic american journalists hate assange, which is why they ignore him.
        the only journalists who get serviced with all the perks are those who lick the proper boots
        the american press is a stage managed farce

        the most ridiculous thing is that all these leftists pretend that CNN and their particular favorites are not owned equally the corporate assets as any other. see they are not opposed to big money; they are in fact employed by certain elements of big money, like Soros, but plenty of other billionaire activists.

        who needs “Citizens United” when the whole CNN corporate operation is already a lock stock and barrel Democratic shop. Who cares about that when Washington post aka Wapo owned by Jeff Bezos is his daily pillory against the POTUS.

        of course Democrats hate “Citizens United” it allows other peple who are locked out of the press cabal to organize money as counter-force

        where’s isaac to tell us to get corporate money out of US elections? well can we start with CNN’s corporate pro hillary propaganda operation and Bezos anti Trump Wapo messaging corporation?


        This “Truth Dig” piece by Chris Hedges is interesting for all the wrong reasons. Hedges paints Assange as a Christ-like martyr to journalism. Assange, as we all know, has been living at Ecuador’s London embassy since 2010 where he sought refuge to avoid extradition to the U.S.

        According to Hedges, Assange’s health has deteriorated from years of being a shut-in. What’s more, the Ecuadorians are now abusive; forcing Assange to perform Housekeeping duties! It’s gotten so bad that Assange’s mother has issued appeals for mercy.

        If Assange’s life at the embassy has reached a point where he is an abused physical wreck, Assange might consider facing trial in the U.S. for publishing hacked military secrets. Yet Hedge’s ‘Truth Dig’ article fails to explore this possibility. The reader is left to assume that trial in the U.S. would be an even worse fate then cleaning toilets at Ecuador’s London embassy.

        Assange’s situation resembles the decline of 20th Century billionaire Howard Hughes. Hughes spent years as a shut-in to avoid subpoenas regarding his ownership of TWA airlines. Hughes cloistered himself in blacked-out hotel rooms where he was seen by only a staff of Mormon caretakers. Said routine eventually took a fatal toll on Hughe’s physical and mental health.

        Hughe’s latter life might have been happier had he just dealt with the subpoenas. Assange might look to Hughes as an example of a fate to avoid.

        1. yes the Deep State will never forgive Assange for publishing Snowden’s revelations about how they blatantly sift our private information without warrants. Not that this ever stopped. It was news one day and then quaintly forgotten.

          and why doesn’t NYT v US aka the Pentagon Papers case apply where Assange is concerned? Why does Assange just think he’ll get off the hook? Because he’s not a favored son of the American corporate media, that’s why. Only THEY get to stand up and talk down to American executive branch like Jim Acosta and Bob Woodward; some internet guy doesn’t get that vaunted journalistic privilege.

          Oh you say he should show up and stand trial. I think Assange believes if he shows up he’s done for. He won’t get due process is why he won’t subject himself to it. And he values his own life. Good for him. Another victim of phony sex allegations too in case anybody forgot.

          And it doesn’t really matter who is President. That Deep state is functioning all on its own, no President will dare oppose it. Trump has gotten his bell rung by messing with them just as Chuckie Schumer promised; and that Deep State will outlast him until he croaks or until Ecuador loses its nerve.

        2. Hughes spent years as a shut-in to avoid subpoenas regarding his ownership of TWA airlines.

          He couldn’t avoid service that way had the federal government been determined. Hughes couldn’t bring himself to meet face-to-face with reporters in 1971 to give a statement on the Clifford Irving hoax biography, so a teleconference had to be arranged with reporters who’d covered his businesses over the years. He’d known most of them in the past.

          Hughes was ruined by an odd and exceptionally severe manifestation of obsessive-compulsive disorder. The personal staff he employed after Noah Dietrich left his employ in 1956 just catered to his whims. There were people on the staff concerned with his condition. Two were low-level factotums who had no influence and the third was told by the others to shut up or get lost.

        3. this goes way back, here’s a sitrep from 2012

          Can anyone seriously believe the dispute would have gone global, or that the British government would have made its asinine threat to suspend the Ecuadorean embassy’s diplomatic status and enter it by force, or that scores of police would have surrounded the building, swarming up and down the fire escape and guarding every window, if it was all about one man wanted for questioning over sex crime allegations in Stockholm?

          To get a grip on what is actually going on, rewind to WikiLeaks’ explosive release of secret US military reports and hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables two years ago. They disgorged devastating evidence of US war crimes and collusion with death squads in Iraq on an industrial scale, the machinations and lies of America’s wars and allies, its illegal US spying on UN officials – as well as a compendium of official corruption and deceit across the world.

          WikiLeaks provided fuel for the Arab uprisings. It didn’t just deliver information for citizens to hold governments everywhere to account, but crucially opened up the exercise of US global power to democratic scrutiny. Not surprisingly, the US government made clear it regarded WikiLeaks as a serious threat to its interests from the start, denouncing the release of confidential US cables as a “criminal act”.

          Vice-president Joe Biden has compared Assange to a “hi-tech terrorist”. Shock jocks and neocons have called for him to be hunted down and killed. Bradley Manning, the 24-year-old soldier accused of passing the largest trove of US documents to WikiLeaks, who has been held in conditions described as “cruel and inhuman” by the UN special rapporteur on torture, faces up to 52 years in prison.

          The US administration yesterday claimed the WikiLeaks founder was trying to deflect attention from his Swedish case by making “wild allegations” about US intentions. But the idea that the threat of US extradition is some paranoid WikiLeaks fantasy is absurd.

          A grand jury in Virginia has been preparing a case against Assange and WikiLeaks for espionage, a leak earlier this year suggested that the US government has already issued a secret sealed indictment against Assange, while Australian diplomats have reported that the WikiLeaks founder is the target of an investigation that is “unprecedented both in its scale and its nature”.

          The US interest in deterring others from following the WikiLeaks path is obvious. And it would be bizarre to expect a state which over the past decade has kidnapped, tortured and illegally incarcerated its enemies, real or imagined, on a global scale – and continues to do so under President Barack Obama – to walk away from what Hillary Clinton described as an “attack on the international community”. In the meantime, the US authorities are presumably banking on seeing Assange further discredited in Sweden.

          None of that should detract from the seriousness of the rape allegations made against Assange, for which he should clearly answer and, if charges are brought, stand trial. The question is how to achieve justice for the women involved while protecting Assange (and other whistleblowers) from punitive extradition to a legal system that could potentially land him in a US prison cell for decades.

          The politicisation of the Swedish case was clear from the initial leak of the allegations to the prosecutor’s decision to seek Assange’s extradition for questioning – described by a former Stockholm prosecutor as “unreasonable, unfair and disproportionate” – when the authorities have been happy to interview suspects abroad in more serious cases.

          And given the context, it’s also hardly surprising that sceptics have raised the links with US-funded anti-Cuban opposition groups of one of those making the accusations – or that campaigners such as the London-based Women Against Rape have expressed scepticism at the “unusual zeal” with which rape allegations were pursued against Assange in a country where rape convictions have fallen. The danger, of course, is that the murk around this case plays into a misogynist culture in which rape victims aren’t believed.

          But why, Assange’s critics charge, would he be more likely to be extradited to the US from Sweden than from Britain, Washington’s patsy, notorious for its one-sided extradition arrangements. There are specific risks in Sweden – for example, its fast-track “temporary surrender” extradition agreement it has with the US. But the real point is that Assange is in danger of extradition in both countries – which is why Ecuador was right to offer him protection.

          The solution is obvious. It’s the one that Ecuador is proposing – and that London and Stockholm are resisting. If the Swedish government pledged to block the extradition of Assange to the US for any WikiLeaks-related offence (which it has the power to do) – and Britain agreed not to sanction extradition to a third country once Swedish proceedings are over – then justice could be served. But with loyalty to the US on the line, Assange shouldn’t expect to leave the embassy any time soon.

          and who is Stone in trouble for even daring to talk about on twitter?

          the Democrats think that they own the journalistic franchise and the US electoral system to boot. and Miller’s their man to make it clear. well maybe it won’t work out that way, time will tell

          1. oh hey, young straight guys take note: you aren’t allowed in politics unless you support the Democrat party which is both the willing collaborator and the current beneficiary of the US surveillance state.

            if you don’t, not surprisingly, the US spooks and hacks and assorted operatives will surface some sex related thing and yet another female accuser to bedevil you into submission.

            (if you’re bill clinton of course none of that’s a problem. harvey weinstein thought he had a get out of jail free card but it got cancelled… temporarily at least)

            i hope all these female accusers like this brave new world and being pawns in it. will the new world order be any better than the hated “patriarchy”?

            1. Red Flag Gun Laws: Yet Another Government Weapon for Compliance and Control

              By John W. Whitehead

              November 13, 2018



              Be warned: once you get on such a government watch list—whether it’s a terrorist watch list, a mental health watch list, a dissident watch list, or a red flag gun watch list—there’s no clear-cut way to get off, whether or not you should actually be on there.

              You will be tracked wherever you go.

              You will be flagged as a potential threat and dealt with accordingly.

              This is pre-crime on an ideological scale and it’s been a long time coming.

              The government has been building its pre-crime, surveillance network in concert with fusion centers (of which there are 78 nationwide, with partners in the private sector and globally), data collection agencies, behavioral scientists, corporations, social media, and community organizers and by relying on cutting-edge technology for surveillance, facial recognition, predictive policing, biometrics, and behavioral epigenetics (in which life experiences alter one’s genetic makeup).

              It’s the American police state’s take on the dystopian terrors foreshadowed by George Orwell, Aldous Huxley and Phillip K. Dick all rolled up into one oppressive pre-crime and pre-thought crime package.

              1. they had zero background checks when i came of age, just sign the 4473 and out the door.

                gun shop guy told me it’s like 5 different database checks now, the NICS check is a good legit one; that’s the main thing; but now they said they also did a guardianship/ incompetence database, maybe they have a citizenship db, and then the no fly list and one more besides i think, not sure, cant recall exactly. maybe the fifth one was a domestic restraining order check.

                procedures vary a lot state by state i gather

  8. Who knows what today might bring:

    “Mueller reportedly plans to issue new indictments in the Russia investigation as soon as Tuesday”

    Business Insider
    3 hours

    “Whitaker consulting ‘ethics officials’ on possible recusal from Mueller probe”

    13 hours ago

    “Special counsel witness says he expects to be charged in Mueller probe” = Jerome Corsi

    ABC News –
    15 hours ago

    1. they’re punishing alternative media. alex jones got deplatformed, stone under a microscope, corsi too.

      all three right wing critics of the “Deep State” and the “military industrial complex”

      left wing critics of war mongers are toothless. but if a right winger dares to criticize the MIC then they are in for trouble

      and leftists can be relied upon to throw a right winger overboard 99% of the time in that arena;
      the historic example to the contrary was Mark Lane, RIP

      1. “and leftists can be relied upon to throw a right winger overboard 99% of the time in that arena;”

        Mr. Kurtz: Corsi aside, who else comes to mind?

        :”…the “Deep State” and the “military industrial complex””

        Seeing is believing.

      2. Stone is a professional campaign hack. He’s in the same business as Karl Rove and has worked for Republicans of every stripe. Alex Jones isn’t a ‘critic’; he’s a kook. Dr. Corsi has been in intellectual decline for some time. If he’s indicted, it will almost certainly be a harassment gesture directed at Stone, who is under scrutiny in an effort to harass Trump.

        The ratio of military expenditure to domestic product is as low as it has been at any time since 1940. Unlike the metrics tracking other species of public expenditure, this one actually declines in response to external circumstances. Fully 87% of our manpower is billeted in the United States or its possessions and the other 13% is quite scattered; our largest contingent abroad is in Japan, where about 2.5% of our manpower is located. The total number of billets outside of North America, Western Europe, the Antipodes, and the affluent Far East is about 40,000, or less than 3% of our manpower.

        1. Addendum, there are 60,000 billets in those loci, or 4% of American manpower.

        2. you’re offended by talk against the military industrial complex, that’s fine
          but i’ll keep mentioning it nonetheless. and in my mind it’s not just the military as such which may be relatively modest as you say….
          but it includes aspects of growing social and economic gravity which are not modest specifically the NSA with all its capabilities above and beyond the constitution and anything previously possible in terms of domestic surveillance; and the civilian telecommunications and software industry infrastructure which is increasingly in sync with the military agenda. that is to say, Silicon Valley. Take for example just the hardware: amazon servers host a significant amount of government traffic and storage, who knows how much.

          and Silicon Valley is nakedly against Trump

          and they deplatformed from youtube and twitter and who knows what else Alex Jones who is certainly a critic of Silicon Valley and domestic surveillance of citizens. You can call him a kook if you like but he is a media personality with a large following and a critic of domestic surveillance and he has been those a long time

          and he gave a platform to Stone and Corsi.

          and Jones had an impact in the election by backing Trump.

          He’s also given a platform many times for such like as William Binney the NSA whistleblower who maintains that the mass information dragnet that the Bush government officials elected in the wake of 9/11 was not only unconstitutional but ineffective compared to other existing technological means of sifting signals intelligence

          This is an orchestrated payback that is very crystal clear now

          it’s ok; in 20 years it won’t matter. as Putin said, whomever gets AI first will rule the world. google is well out in front of the others and in 20 years you can kiss whatever privacy you ever used to enjoy goodbye

          I had a friend who is dead now tell me long before 9/11 that everything is monitored. every keystroke into the internet gets sifted. that seemed impossible to me then but some time later we found it like many other rumors was essentially true. at the time we were discussing Arthur C Clarke’s prediction that as information technology developed privacy would gradually vanish.

          That one is not as obvious a correct prediction as his 1945 harbinger of geostationary satellite communications but it is coming true before our eyes

          “Collect it all.” -NSA

          1. i could make a long list of authentic public concerns that were for many people “heard on alex jones first” but aside from warnings about mass dragnet surveillance, before snowden, there were also a couple others that come to mind: gay frogs, that is amphibian sexual dimorphism caused by environmental contaminants; that PCBs in plastic affect human levels of testosterone, that glycophosate in roundup actually can cause cancer; and that animal human chimera research is proceeding at an alarming pace with little ethical restraint


            sure jones is kooky like jack d ripper in dr strangelove; but kooky often is what projects a salient idea into mass consciousness where boring and staid messaging is ignored


            this is a little bit like mocking fairly tales. you can mock fairy tales but you better not miss the grains of truth they convey

          2. you’re offended by talk against the military industrial complex, that’s fine

            I point out talk if it is humbug by people who know nothing of the dimensions of public expenditure and are unmotivated to learn. There’s a swatch of libertarians and palaeoshmucks who fancy you can dramatically cut public expenditure if you liquidate ‘the Empire’ and ‘end the drug war’. Expenditures on troop deployments abroad and that portion of law enforcement budgets fairly attributable to enforcing prohibitions on street drugs might have accounted for 5% or 6% of public expenditure in a typical post-war year. And the aerospace industry hasn’t nearly the capacity to protect its swag pipeline or its autonomy as higher education or the the legal profession or the public employee unions.

            People forget the historical context of Eisenhower’s remarks. For 27 of the first 30 years he was associated with the U.S. military, its claim on productive resources amounted to 1% of gross domestic product while employing about 0.8% of the adult male population at any one time, all volunteers. Then he was one of a corps of flag rank officers supervising a mass mobilization which claimed 1/3 of our productive capacity for six years. And for 15 years, he’d been implicated in the supervision, maintenance, and operation of an abiding military establishment which accounted for 10% of the production of goods and services in the country and rounded up the majority of young men for tours in the service. We don’t live in Eisenhower’s world anymore. The military’s claim on productive capacity has been cut by more than 60% and it is entirely composed of volunteers (of which the current corps incorporate 1% of the adult male population). There isn’t one flag-rank officer on active duty who is of an age to have been subject to military conscription. The very youngest soldiers who participated in anything resembling a general mobilization are now 83 years old. The last man conscripted into the military will be eligible for Medicare and full Social Security in about a year.

            1. I demur to parts of that narrow statement. I agree that we can’t just cut the Empire. Pull a lot of the pawns off the table and the key pieces may collapse. It costs to have them out there but it might cost worse to pull them back. Still cost is an issue. But fair enough that expenditures relative to overall economic activity are less than in Ike’s time, if that summarizes what you said fairly enough

              But the main concern i have relate to dubious choices about the post 9/11 mass dragnet of information culled from electronic signals were made, to target the entire domestic American population, which were unnecessary and are unconstitutional and still underway. That is the “surveillance state” which people refer to when they identify both NSA FBI counterintelligence snooping of Americans and also the Silicon Valley civilian infrastructure which supports it. I don’t know what those numbers are and if you’re a budget expert than you say so. But it seems to me a lot of that information is in fact not publically available. The cost is an issue; so is the unconstitutionality; and the machinations of Silicon Valley to make a mind meld with the state in surveilling, soaking, and controlling Americans, is the biggest issue.

              Trump represents a target of opportunity in cutting down resistance to that Leviathan down to size. If only by elevating the power of the state itself a wee margin over the press and “Deep State” bureaucratic forces both out to get him.

              As for the war on drugs marijuana legalization will save a lot of money, from investigation to incarceration to those legal fees the public pays which you hate; and it proceeds apace whether the feds are yet on board or not. Sessions was the impediment there; Trump has made mildly approving comments about legalization before and is no antidrug zealot.

              1. 1. There is no Empire.

                2. Legalizing maryjane will save very little money because the only people incarcerated for it are a small population of dealers. We don’t know the costs out the back end yet.

                1. there is an economic empire based on the dollar as the world reserve currency. it is underpinned by the worldwide presence and might of the US armed forces. that is indeed an Empire and actually the greatest largest richest one in history

                  there are a lot of people still in prison for pcs. thats about a fifth of the the population but it includes other drugs besides pot.

                  16 and 17 both had over 600K arrests for pot. that’s a lot of arrests and they all go to the local jail. it’s pointless. give them a ticket or something! let them pay their own bread and board

                  pot makes people stupid and lazy. but people are already stupid and lazy and pot is a small factor compared to cell phones combined with social media that makes people stupider and lazier all the time. meet some young people and see how their attention spans have been totally ruined by cell phones, social media, and porn. its very sad

                  thats all recreational pot issues.

                  then there is medical. legal pot for medicine has very long been known to be a legit treatment for many illnesses. now beyond that look at how even the most drug prohibitionist states have gone to cbd oil. it’s a very salubrious product and a shame it’s been illegal for so long.

                  republicans with half a brain got behind this a long time ago

                  like Roger Stone, whom you revile for whatever reason

                  1. there is an economic empire based on the dollar as the world reserve currency.

                    That’s a nonsense statement. The United States has some advantages because its debts are denominated in its own currency. Britain and Japan have the same advantages. That means there are constraints not operating on you, not that you can direct the affairs of anyone else. Nor can discrete commercial corporation typically do much more than make irritants out of themselves in particular contexts.

                    it is underpinned by the worldwide presence and might of the US armed forces. that is indeed an Empire and actually the greatest largest richest one in history

                    There are about 200,000 American troops abroad, quite widely scattered. The only place they are deployed in such a way that they might coerce domestic political actors is in dirt-poor Afghanistan.

                  2. ” economic empire”

                    Kurtz, you are using the word empire in a very loose fashion making the use of the word empire near meaningless.

                    If I define an empire as a state that through its power has political control over other entities outside of that state where wide divergences in culture exist. Would you agree to that? If so explain your empire theory both with and without the use of the word economic.

              2. My understanding is that the number of automobile deaths in Colorado may be doubling. It is closely correllated to the legalization of marihuana.

                I don’t believe a welfare state, which we are in part, is compatible with legalizing drug use.

                I beleive DSS is rightabout the savings in legalizing marijuana. We don’t have a fix on the unintended consequences of legalization. When people look at the number of inmates in prison for simple marihuana problems those same people ought to remember that in many of these cases these simple marijuana problems were plea bargains for much more serious crimes.

                1. Allan – somehow The Mekong River disappeared from my Netflix queue. So those that said that Netflix was not offering were right. I had not watched it in a few days and then suddenly it was gone.

                  1. Paul, shows are removed from Netflix all the time. One of my favorite shows was Foyle’s Law and Netflix no longer shows it as part of their online line-up. I like some British shows on Netflix, but now Anonymous will accuse me of being British or living there.

                    One day it will be there or somewhere else. I will then take out my trip outline and see what I missed. I liked to take over a month of time on these trips and I liked places not generally visited by Americans.

                  2. Paul wrote — a few days after the original exchange: “Allan – somehow The Mekong River disappeared from my Netflix queue. So those that said that Netflix was not offering were right. I had not watched it in a few days and then suddenly it was gone.”

                    Paul covering his butt. (How’s the farm, Paul? The troll farm.)

                    1. Natacha – that is Paul being HONEST. I switch between Netflix, Hulu, Audible, hardbooks, DVDs, etc. I have so many things going on I actually have check lists on rotation for each. I had not been on Netflix in a couple of days. First day I got back to Netflix I check, it was gone and I reported it. I could have let it go, but I was HONEST and reported it. How would you have handled it?

                    2. How hard is it to check a title on Netflix. Answer: not very

                      You could have checked it during the original discussion.

                      “I have so many things going on I actually have check lists on rotation for each.” So says Paul

                      Oh brother. Give me a freakin’ break.

                    3. Natacha – I have 50 items in my Netflix queue (watching ten), am listening to 5 Audible books, taking 7 courses, reading 1 hardback, have 30 books in my Fire queue but am currently reading five, and am following 4 shows on Hulu. Plus 3 shows from the Netherlands. The hardbound is for my bookclub, so I have to read it everyday. Then I got 8 movies from the library this week which are due back Saturday and a series which is due back next Saturday.

                      Add to that, we just got a new rescue dog that needs training and I am home alone with it all day. 🙂 So, I am a busy boy.

                2. that reminds me, let’s get into coke now. sure it should remain illegal

                  but actually a lot of coke possession cases are automatically upgraded to distribution – dealer cases because of trivially small weights. all the black people whining about this are pretty much right, not that it’s racist per se, but patently unfair that a guy with 4 or 5 doses is legally deemed a “drug kingpin” and the feds don’t have to prove any intent to sell whatsoever. really unfair and shameful statutory provision

                  clogging our jails with perps; maybe that has helped lower violent crime but it’s expensive as hell.

                  here’s a crazy idea. let’s get back to offering sterilizations for people who are repeat offenders and thus chronically proven to be, um, unlikely to be good parents? but make it like a sort of free birth control reward. instead of court ordered sterilizations they could be “pay you $1,000” if you get sterilized AND stay out trouble for a year. now they would say ouch that’s REALLY racist but if you want my brainstormed idea for the day, that’s it

                  somehow i think a lot of prolifers would not like that either. maybe i should write bill gates a letter about that ?

        3. Stone, yes he’s a hack. but he’s my kind of hack. Rove isn’t.

          you’ve got a chip that Stone champions the anti-CIA LBJ JFK cabal hypothesis. thats fine; keep on thinking Lee Harvey Oswald did it all his lonesome. i haven’t believed that since I heard Bob Blakey talk when i was a teenager. is bob blakey a kook too?

          1. keep on thinking Lee Harvey Oswald did it all his lonesome.

            No one but Lee Harvey Oswald shot the President. Try a thought experiment delineating a scenario wherein Lee Harvey Oswald is something other than a guilty man. It’s hopelessly rococo.

            You’d be hard put to locate anyone who’d collaborated with Oswald on a project, hard put to locate any abiding friends, hard put to locate a civilian employer who’d been able to put up with him for more than a few months. He was estranged from one of his brothers, he wanted nothing to do with his mother, and his wife and her patron Mrs. Paine had put him out on the curb. Yet, for some reason, a fantastically sophisticated government conspiracy is going to trust him with a task of the utmost importance.

            1. well the USMC trusted him with a top secret clearance at Otsugi.
              So, maybe rococo it is but rococo is not impossible

              are these assertions true or false?

              you seem to think he was untrustworthy. maybe he was. but isnt that an occupational requirement for the sort of creeps that do the work of spies and informants and snitches and provocateurs? not really a bunch of angels


              Oswald and U.S. Intelligence

              by Christopher Sharrett

              Oswald had relatives who had worked for the CIA.

              Oswald had top secret security clearances while in the Marines, and was at one point stationed at Marine Air Control in the Atsugi Base in Japan. This was a top secret base, from which the CIA launched U-2 flights and performed other covert activities. For example, Oswald’s unit was involved in a “top-secret” project, “Operation Strongback,” a preparation for a coup against the government of Indonesia.

              Oswald was later assigned to El Toro Air Station in California with security clearance to work on radar.

              Oswald was assigned to study Russian at the special U.S. School of Languages at Monterey, a school which is used to train people selected to do work for the U.S. government.

              While at El Toro, Oswald began expressing very openly pro-Russian and pro-communist views. Such expression did not trigger any concern on the part of his Marine superiors, and in no way affected his security clearances.

              Oswald obtained a hardship discharge from the Marines within a week of applying for it. The reason given for the application turned out to be false.

              Oswald had no visible means of income for his trip to Russia, part of which could not have occurred by commercial transport because of its timing, but could have been accomplished by U.S. military transport.

              On defecting to the Soviet Union, Oswald claimed that he intended to give away classified radar information to the Soviets.

              No damage assessment was ever undertaken by U.S. intelligence services of the classified information Oswald was supposedly giving to the Russians.

              Two and a half years after “defecting” to the Soviet Union, Oswald applied to return to the United States. At the time of Oswald’s application, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow cabled the State Department about his request. Portions of the cable having to do with Oswald’s identity were classified. On receiving his request the State Department ruled that for technical reasons, Oswald’s relinquishing of his U.S. citizenship had not occurred. His return to the U.S. was approved and his travel and moving expenses for returning to the U.S. were funded by the U.S. government. Upon his return, Oswald was greeted not by police officials but by a representative of Traveler’s Aid, who was also a prominent official of an ultra-rightist organization that enjoyed intelligence support.

              His Russian-born wife was exempted from usual immigration quotas and the usual waiting period.

              Our intelligence agencies never debriefed Oswald with regard to secrets he supposedly passed to the Russians.

              No “Look-out Card” was ever filled out on Oswald, a standard procedure for a person who would have been considered a security risk, if his defection was legitimate. Although in the early 1960s the FBI published over a million names of potential subversives, Oswald’s name wasn’t included. Yet Oswald was sufficiently known to our intelligence sources that on June 3, 1960, J. Edgar Hoover wrote a memorandum to the State Department about the fact that someone other than Oswald was using his name as an alias.

              On his return to the U.S., Oswald created a public persona for himself as a leftist agitator, but in reality associated with a circle of people who are exclusively anti-communist, right wing activists closely linked to the FBI, the CIA, and U.S. Naval Intelligence, including David Ferrie, Clay Shaw, Guy Banister, George de Mohrenschildt, and Jack Ruby.

              In New Orleans Oswald set up his own Fair Play For Cuba Committee without the authorization of the national headquarters of the organization which was based in New York City. Oswald was the only member of his committee and he used as an address the post office box of anti-Castro Cubans in New Orleans. Although he was ostensibly broke, he spent money on FPCC fliers and handbills, one batch of which lists the New Orleans FPCC office as located at 544 Camp Street, the headquarters of New Orleans anti-Castro, right-wing activism in the center of that city’s U.S. government intelligence complex. Although broke, Oswald hired two men to help him distribute his handbills.

              In New Orleans, In 1963, Oswald was granted a passport within twenty-four hours of its being requested.

              In Texas, he and his family were befriended by members of a right-wing Russian emigré community. The husband of the family with which he lived had a security clearance at Bell Helicopter. His security clearance was not adversely affected by his close association with Oswald.

              While some of Oswald’s letters and other writings suggest a subliterate person, other writings, especially letters to leftist groups, suggest a sophisticated, literate person. Either Oswald’s illiteracy was a pose or someone wrote letters for him.

              Oswald was regularly monitored by federal agents. When arrested, Oswald had the name, address, and phone number of an FBI agent in his possession. George de Mohrenschildt, Oswald’s closest associate in Dallas, had ties to the CIA, and J. Walton Moore, a CIA agent, asked de Mohrenschildt to stay in contact with Oswald.

              Both the FBI and Army Intelligence knew that Oswald used aliases. Army Intelligence in Texas knew Oswald’s aliases and previous addresses, although the Pentagon “routinely” destroyed its files on Oswald. Dallas police officials told the Warren Commission that Oswald was an informant for both the FBI and CIA, information that the Commission termed a “dirty little rumor.” Dallas officials years later retracted the information.

              just a lone nut for sure

              1. 1 Did it ever occur to you to attempt to verify any of these factoids with a source not derived from conspiracy literature or the wacky world of websites?

                2. Did it ever occur to you that that a man who would use Harold Weisberg and Jim Garrison as sources isn’t the most discriminating student of history?

                3. Did it ever occur to you that a communications professor who has spent his life studying imaginative literature in the first instance and then cinema ever since is not someone practiced at the art of archival research or understanding social relations? When he was covering the film beat, the late Richard Grenier remarked that most film critics he’d encountered lived in a cinematographical culture and actually believed that you could learn all you needed to by going to the movies. Where does this guy land? (He’s not going to be someone with any coarse or granular knowledge of the military, law enforcement, or the intelligence services; that’s not his trade and there’s no indication it was ever his trade).

                (I am curious about Prof. Sharrett. He currently lists only one scholarly publication completed prior to age 50. That particular work is an adaptation of his dissertation issued by a trade publisher. The dissertation was completed and signed in 1983, the trade version issued in 1993, and his next book appears in 1999. He appears to have taught at a Catholic college in Connecticut at one time (ca. 1987), publishing several articles in professional venues like Film Quarterly. Then he largely disappears for a decade, publishing only a few pieces, one a film review and one a contribution to an annual. Here’s another bit of his avocational oeuvre:

                1. verifying is on you. i don’t know or care about all those sources i just want to know if the facts asserted are right or not.

                  now for starters did LHO have a top secret security clearance when he was in the USMC or not. was he in sigint at Atsugi or not. was he a radar tech at el toro or not. you say he was untrustworthy, then explain why the USMC trusted him. if you can’t address that then all the other stuff isn’t even worth bothering with.

                  but those other things suggest he was sheep dipped, and that someone in government sent him to USSR as a false defector. which is a known method and not wholly implausible….. doesn’t prove anything one way or another about jfk but it does undermine the “lone nut with no active government contacts” propaganda, more than a little

                  1. verifying is on you. i don’t know or care about all those sources i just want to know if the facts asserted are right or not.

                    You said that, not me.

                  2. Mr Kurtz – regardless of whether he was sheep dipped or not, the Soviets did not trust him.

                  3. then explain why the USMC trusted him.

                    You derive that judgment from another factoid you tell me is unimportant to verify.

                    The man was carrying around a dishonorable discharge (for which he blamed John Connolly) and (if I’m not mistaken) been court-martialed for insubordination to boot. He was in the service for about two years. Nowadays, I don’t think the Marines would take him because he never completed 10th grade in high school.

                    At some other point in the thread, you alluded to him receiving a hardship discharge in short order. I don’t know how quickly those are processed and its a reasonable wager Christopher Sharrett hasn’t a clue from personal experience. I can think of a reason a bureaucratic agency might be anxious to grease his departure though: he was suck-o as a Marine, a disciplinary problem they didn’t need.

                    I don’t know if this happens in the Marines, then or now. I can think of an example in the Navy. See Hendrik Hertzberg (still an editor at The New Yorker, I believe) who was given a medical discharge in 1968 because he bled profusely during some dental work. The back story was that before he went into have the dental work done, he’d informed his commanding officer that they would have to court-martial him because he would not follow orders to report to his new post (desk job in Da Nang).

                    1. i have never seen any evidence that he didn’t work at Atsugi in sigint or that he wasnt a radar tech or that he didn’t have top secret security clearances. those claims are verifiably true or untrue. and i have seen these assertions many many times in many publications over many years. that was just one.

                      at this point i feel it’s reasonable to take them as true. let me know if you are able to determine that they are false and then for me at least a lot of the speculation about LHO being some kind of cipher will be cleared up.

                      the different question of what CIA withheld from the commissions can’t be answered, but some things have emerged over the decades. i guess it’s not worth debating today.

                    2. i have never seen any evidence that he didn’t work at Atsugi in sigint or that he wasnt a radar tech or that he didn’t have top secret security clearances. those claims are verifiably true or untrue. and i have seen these assertions many many times in many publications over many years. that was just one.

                      Why would you ask for evidence that he didn’t work there? There’s been an enormous quantity of literature written about the Kennedy Assassination by obsessed hobbyists. They’re not necessarily practiced at the craft of journalism, much less history or biography. Collectively, they’re a tremendous meme generator.

                      You send me to this fellow Sharett, who in turn quotes a list of people which include Jim Garrison and Harold Weisberg. Garrison was the rogue prosecutor who ruined Clay Shaw’s life. Weisberg’s work is self-published. There’s a brief mention of Weisberg in Robin Winks’ Historian as Detective in the chapter devoted to Kennedy assassination literature. The author reviews theses advanced by Edward Jay Epstein, Mark Lane and others, but he didn’t bother with Weisberg because, he said, his book was utter rubbish.

              2. Oswald’s security clearance was at the lowest level, “Confidential”.
                The other enlist men working with Oswald had that same level of clearance.

                1. well you say so anonymouse so lets see some references and sources that are credible to anyone, and get to the bottom of that single question

                1. Just to point out that Dr. McAdams is a working academic historian. This sort of this is much more a part of his book of business than it is of Sharrett’s.

                  1. here mcadams skewers mark lane… but that was years ago….


                    part of it relates to the question of hunt’s alibi.

                    hunt said he was at home in dc.

                    but Mark Lane’s defamation case, witness maritza lorenz swore she was at a hote in dallas and saw hunt give money to the conspirators

                    Hunt denied that, said he was in dc. to the rockefeller commission and at that trial. st john hunt was a kid and he testified to rockefeller comm. that he was home too.

                    mcadams says Lane obscures that alibi corroboration and Marita was not credible

                    well, ok. as far as that goes.

                    but i don’t see anything there about how howard hunt impeached himself in 2003 and St John Hunt his alibi witness said it was crap too. so that was an alibi repudiated by the principle and the corroborating witness. funny how this is not addressed by mcadams. is the august professor retired? i don’t know.

                    and in his confession hunt described himself as “just a benchwarmer,” and the bag man– the money guy; exactly what marita said he was

                    i guess mcadams hasnt updated his page to account for all that. i don’t know much about mcadams, maybe tab can tell us why he hasnt addressed hunt’s terminal confession.

                    1. Read the Times article. The confession was a scam cooked up by his grifter sons. Their sisters and their stepmother were furious with them.

                    2. Lyndon Johnson was in 1963 unhappily occupying the 5th wheel position of the Vice Presidency. He wasn’t in any position to Jedi-mind trick the intelligence services into killing Kennedy to please him. (Since the two had similar policy goals, there was no reason for any cabals in the intelligence services to substitute one for the other).

                    3. LBJ, what a mensch. His mistress says he took credit. To say nothing of French and Soviets thinking that LBJ pulled a coup too.

                      that mcadams– academic historian, unconvincingly pooh poohs the notion advanced by Zirbel, another LBJ culpability hypothesizer, that LBJ appointing allan dulles to the warren commission was part of cover up. ah ok. JFK fired Dulles and blamed him for bay of pigs but supposedly Dulles liked Kennedy? ha ok

                      it’s ok,keep on believing the Warren Commission and I’ll keep doubting it.

                    4. Similar policies for sure. Same policies maybe not.

                      Some people think that JFK was going to pull out of Vietnam. i don’t know, maybe or maybe not. but it’s possible

                      But even so,
                      I tell you what LBJ could deliver to “the powers that be” such as integrationists, that JFK could not.

                      Civil Rights

                      Kennedy was a Catholic and a Yankee and he could not deliver blue dog southern segregationists to support the Civil Rights act

                      LBJ could and he did. The “Establishment” if there is one definitely wanted Civil Rights and Congress up until LBJ fixed them was not moving forward effectively on it.

                2. so the HSSA said so. ok. that’s a credible source

                  but also a very relevant one on this topic.

                  years after, Bob Blakey says the CIA mislead him

                  and who EXACTLY did he say mislead him?

                  a cia guy named Ionnides who… who had contact with a group that had contact with Oswald. just a coincidence? who knows



                  “It feeds the conspiracy theorists who say, ‘You’re hiding something,” ’ Mr. Posner said.

                  After losing an appeals court decision in Mr. Morley’s lawsuit, the C.I.A. released material last year confirming Mr. Joannides’s deep involvement with the anti-Castro Cubans who confronted Oswald. But the agency is withholding 295 specific documents from the 1960s and ’70s, while refusing to confirm or deny the existence of many others, saying their release would cause “extremely grave damage” to national security.

                  “The methods of defeating or deterring covert action in the 1960s and 1970s can still be instructive to the United States’ current enemies,” a C.I.A. official wrote in a court filing.

                  An agency spokesman, Paul Gimigliano, said the C.I.A. had opened to Judge Tunheim’s board all files relevant to the assassination and denied that it was trying to avoid embarrassment. “The record doesn’t support that, any more than it supports conspiracy theories, offensive on their face, that the C.I.A. had a hand in President Kennedy’s death,” Mr. Gimigliano said.

                  C.I.A. secrecy has been hotly debated this year, with agency officials protesting the Obama administration’s decision to release legal opinions describing brutal interrogation methods. The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, came under attack from Republicans after she accused the C.I.A. of misleading Congress about waterboarding, adding, “They mislead us all the time.”

                  On the Kennedy assassination, the deceptions began in 1964 with the Warren Commission. The C.I.A. hid its schemes to kill Fidel Castro and its ties to the anti-Castro Directorio Revolucionario Estudantil, or Cuban Student Directorate, which received $50,000 a month in C.I.A. support during 1963.

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                  In August 1963, Oswald visited a New Orleans shop owned by a directorate official, feigning sympathy with the group’s goal of ousting Mr. Castro. A few days later, directorate members found Oswald handing out pro-Castro pamphlets and got into a brawl with him. Later that month, he debated the anti-Castro Cubans on a local radio station.

                  In the years since Oswald was named as the assassin, speculation about who might have been behind him has never ended, with various theories focusing on Mr. Castro, the mob, rogue government agents or myriad combinations of the above. Mr. Morley, one of many writers to become entranced by the story, insists he has no theory and is seeking only the facts.

                  His lawsuit has uncovered the central role in overseeing directorate activities of Mr. Joannides, the deputy director for psychological warfare at the C.I.A.’s Miami station, code-named JM/WAVE. He worked closely with directorate leaders, documents show, corresponding with them under pseudonyms, paying their travel expenses and achieving an “important degree of control” over the group, as a July 1963 agency fitness report put it.

                  Fifteen years later, Mr. Joannides turned up again as the agency’s representative to the House assassinations committee. Dan Hardway, then a law student working for the committee, recalled Mr. Joannides as “a cold fish,” who firmly limited access to documents. Once, Mr. Hardway remembered, “he handed me a thin file and just stood there. I blew up, and he said, ‘This is all you’re going to get.’ ”

                  But neither Mr. Hardway nor the committee’s staff director, G. Robert Blakey, had any idea that Mr. Joannides had played a role in the very anti-Castro activities from 1963 that the panel was scrutinizing.

                  When Mr. Morley first informed him about it a decade ago, Mr. Blakey was flabbergasted. “If I’d known his role in 1963, I would have put Joannides under oath — he would have been a witness, not a facilitator,” said Mr. Blakey, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame. “How do we know what he didn’t give us?”

                  1. translation: the HSSA was deceived by the CIA. The chief investigator has said so.

                    necessarily they deceived the warren commission too

                    maybe LHO had no other contact. or maybe he did. we know they have lied about it already.

                    oh, yes, Mark Lane. He condemned the HSSA for the main reason that Blakey did NOT subpoena the CIA, ie, put them under oath. He took their word for it. That was before the Ionnides thing came to light too. Mark Lane, conspiracy theorist, but Blakey came to agree with his own critic eventually on that point

                    Shows that Blakey is a man of integrity and honor who could stand up and admit such a thing critical of himself and his own work product.

                    also shows mark lane was not just some communist leftie NY conspiracy theorist. he was a pinko to be sure but he was also a very good lawyer and he won the second defamation case against Hunt who had repudiated ex CiA agent Marchetti’s allegation against him that he was part of the CIA cabal

                    I don’t know about some of these other obscure conspiracists and quacks but I read Lane’s book and I take it very seriously and more seriously than ever since Hunt himself reversed himself at the end of his life and admitted it.

                    Hey look guess who else just died. Victor Marchetti. about a week or two ago


                    Victor Marchetti, a former C.I.A. employee and co-author of the first book, about the agency’s inner workings, that the federal government sought to censor before its publication, died on Oct. 19 at his home in Ashburn, Va. He was 88.

                    The cause was complications of dementia, his son Christian said.

                    Mr. Marchetti worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for 14 years as a Soviet-military specialist and executive assistant to the deputy director, Rufus L. Taylor. Disillusioned by what he saw as the agency’s unchecked excesses and its increasing involvement in attempted assassinations, coups and cover-ups, he resigned in 1969.

                    He and John D. Marks, a former State Department intelligence officer, then wrote a nonfiction book, “The C.I.A. and the Cult of Intelligence,” which was ultimately published in 1974.

                    “The cult of intelligence is a secret fraternity of the American political aristocracy,” they wrote. “It seeks largely to advance America’s self-appointed role as the dominant arbiter of social, economic, and political change in the awakening regions of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.”

                    A legal battle erupted over its publication and would have far-reaching implications, establishing that government employees who have access to classified information can be enjoined for the rest of their lives from disclosing it or discussing it, even after they leave the government.

                    “Marchetti was at the vanguard of what has been called the literature of disillusion,” Steven Aftergood, an expert on government secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, said in an interview.

                    Aug. 3, 2018
                    “He was one of a number of C.I.A. officers who came to have second thoughts about the role of intelligence and about their own role in the agency,” he added, “and they expressed those misgivings in memoirs that became best sellers.”

                    Those books included “Inside the Company: C.I.A. Diary” (1975), by Philip Agee, a former C.I.A. secret operations officer, and “Decent Interval” (1977), by Frank Snepp, the agency’s chief strategy analyst in Vietnam.

                    Mr. Marchetti signed a contract when he joined the C.I.A. in 1955 pledging not to disclose classified information. The contract stipulated that any books or articles he wrote had to be cleared by the agency in advance.

                    In reviewing the manuscript in 1973 for “The C.I.A. and the Cult of Intelligence,” the agency cited 339 passages that it said had to be removed on the grounds that they jeopardized national security.

                    The authors and their publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, challenged the agency in court, accusing it of violating their First Amendment rights. Moreover, they argued, much of the material in the book had already been made public or was so trivial — like the pronunciation of names — that it hardly undermined national security.

                    Over several months, the agency whittled down its objections to 168 passages. Knopf then published the book using blank spaces for passages that had been censored and using boldface type to indicate passages that the C.I.A. had initially wanted to censor but later allowed.

                    Even while the book was in production, the legal case continued.

                    In the end, a trial judge found that fewer than 30 passages had actually been classified while Mr. Marchetti was a C.I.A. employee.

                    Victor Marchetti’s and John D. Marks’s book, published in 1974, revealed the C.I.A.’s involvement in coups, assassinations and cover-ups.
                    But in 1975, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit sided with the agency, saying that Mr. Marchetti had “effectively relinquished his First Amendment rights” when he signed his employment contract. The Supreme Court declined to hear his appeal.

                    In its ruling, the appeals court laid out a broad definition of what constituted classified material. For example, it could include anything considered “useful,” even if it not “vital,” to national security, the court said, and if a lengthy document were stamped secret, every sentence in it, however innocuous, would have to be regarded as classified.

                    Anthony Lewis, a longtime columnist and legal affairs specialist for The New York Times, sounded an alarm after the ruling, writing of authors: “They cannot write anything in the vaguely defined area of national security without the prior approval of the C.I.A. They cannot discuss facts or even write fiction. Not now or ever. It is an extraordinary legal situation, unlike any in our history.”

                    The book became a critically acclaimed best seller. It was one of several accounts of the C.I.A.’s attempts to subvert foreign governments and spy on American citizens (Mr. Marchetti among them) that led to the creation in 1975 of a Senate select committee to study intelligence abuses.

                    The work by the committee, chaired by Senator Frank Church, Democrat of Idaho, led to legislation calling for greater checks and balances on the intelligence community. And despite the ruling against it, Mr. Marchetti’s book helped spawn a literary genre that revealed government secrets.

                    “When Marchetti did it, it was shocking and practically unheard of, and the government didn’t know how to react,” Mr. Aftergood said. “Its first instinct was to try to suppress and then censor, and they were successful. That only made the book more celebrated.”

                    1. interesting the NYT saw fit to do an obit about Marchetti and never mentioned this saga about the old Spotlight article accusing E Howard Hunt of being part of the cabal that killed JFK and fetched him the role of defendant in Hunt’s defamation suits against him

                      then again even the Rolling STone article about Hunt’s confession didn’t mention those lawsuits. like they’re not even in existence. but the appeals are there, you can look them up, recorded cases

                      Mark Lane’s book is a good read


                    2. The House Select Committee on Assassinations was a generator of important cock-ups, among them the acoustical evidence which supposedly demonstrated there was a second gunman. David Belin immediately noted all the elements of context that the committee had ignored, among them that the timing of the supposed shots was such that they had Oswald shooting at the president through a tree in full foliation. Belin also said that you heard things on the tape you shouldn’t have and didn’t hear things you should have. The acoustical argument was discredited by amateurs in the first instance and then by technicians working for the National Academy of Sciences. Decades later, it was demonstrated that the tape they were working with was not recorded in Dealy Plaza, something that Belin had thought at the beginning.

                      My suggestion would be that you make use of raw data that committee collected, but toss out their gloss on it.

                    3. They didn’t mention The Spotlight because it’s a crank publication run by a hobbyist named Willis Carto, known for his Joo obsessions.

                    4. Carto was anti Jewish, but Jewish Mark Lane had no problem working for him for years. I suppose Jewish people are free to pick their own associates, and Mark Lane made his choices.

                      Carto was also publisher of another strange figure, Francis Parkey Yockey, who also moved effortlessly in and out from behind the Iron Curtain, strange for an Axis sympathizer.

                      You know who wrote the intro to Yockey’s book? Professor Revilo Oliver, a JBS acitivst and writer, and former war department translator, who was called before the Warren Commission to testify about what he knew about the JFK. Also an antijewish figure.

                      Maybe just ironies and coincidences. Maybe a guy like you thinks all the cranks just flocked to Carto. Maybe so.

                      Or, maybe like every other big government in history, American powers that be are divided into factions, and factions within factions, and sometimes they don’t play any nicer than any other group of top dogs in history. And sometimes they choose strange mouthpieces to leak things out over time.

                  2. Your problem is that you’re spinning your wheels cogitating about the CIA instead of getting down to brass tacks.

                    1. I don’t really care so much about who whacked JFK, if it was mac mclellan or LHO or Sarti or Sturgis or whomever. I don’t think it was one person. So yes I am interested in a conspiracy analysis.

                      If you go to the other end of the analysis from the top instead of the bottom, just observe that LBJ was the successor and if you ask cui bono it starts with LBJ. Maybe he was a player or just a recipient of the plot’s benefits.

                      CIA isnt supposed to use their immense disruptive capabilities to act against the President, that’s not their charter. It wasnt the charter of the Praetorian guard either. Was Brennan supposed to use his position as former CIA director to take pot shots at Trump every day on tv? So they can exert a lot of power as an agency and they have their own interests institutionally.

                      Personally, I don’t like JFK, though I like him more than LBJ; but really I wish Nixon would have won that election in 1960

                      I’m not judging these people. I am a peasant and they are far above me. In a way I rather admire Howard Hunt and the Ivy League – OSS honchos. the whole crop of them. Without the amazing cleverness of the OSS maybe the Axis would have won….but they defeated the axis, they established the postwar order, they contained the USSR, they were the architects of the American Empire and dollar hegemony that we enjoy every time we go buy something cheap at the store day in and day out.

                    2. You don’t care, but you produce a river of verbiage. Why would you start anywhere but at the bottom? When you start at the bottom, you learn two things:

                      1. Lee Harvey Oswald shot the President.

                      2. Lee Harvey Oswald was notable for narcissism and delusions of grandeur. He’d done some strange things over the years, which motivated federal investigators to open a file on him. Doesn’t mean they devoted all that many man-hours to maintaining that file.

                      3. Oswald used his own rifle and ammo to shoot the President and Gov. Connolly, and did so from a perch in his own workplace. He used his own pistol to kill Officer Tippitt.

                      4. If he was hired to do this, he never got a dime for it. Maybe Marina gave the money to D.B. Cooper.

            2. DSS – you should watch Interview with the Assassin (2002) where the shooter on the grassy knoll admits he did it. Very interesting film.

              1. There was no shooter on the Grassy Knoll, Paul. Just another attention whore confessing to a crime he didn’t commit. File under ‘John Mark Karr’.

                  1. i dont know that movie or any other movie. the assertion he made was essentially that LHO was a lone nut and not stable. my counterpoint was that LHO was stable enough to have a top secret security clearance and there’s abundant coincidental things that suggest that he retained a very close contact with elements of the government and not just because they thought he was a nut.

                    CIA withheld information from the Warren Commission and from the HSSA too. again, Bob Blakey is on record saying so, long after the HSSA.

                    I don’t know who or what had contact with LHO, I don’t know who killed JFK, I just know that government explanations a and b are both inadequate. Who knows what the entire truth is? I don’t. Does the CIA know? Maybe or maybe not. but if the hypothesis that LBJ green lighted a cabal including Cord Meyer, Howard Hunt, Frank Sturgis and others, is solid, let’s just assume that for argument’s sake, even so then why would the CIA want to let the public know how badly its rogue elements ran amuck like a bunch of modern day Praetorians? It would not only discredit the CIA but the Presidency itself; LBJ but even Nixon and maybe every one since. At some point there is not a lot more to be gained by “the whole truth” because as the fictional Jack Nicholson character said, “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”

                    i observe that Trump declassified a lot but CIA leaned on him and he has kept a lot locked up. Remember, the CIA is a necessary evil, but it’s an evil: its job is to go overseas and violate other nation’s laws and steal information and develop traitors by any means necessary. The success of this organization is amazing. Has it also been successful in deluding the public to what extent it exerts and ongoing control over the public officials of our own country? That’s one of the things that comes to mind when I hear people like Brennan and his fans scolding trump…. “former CIA Directors William Webster, George Tenet, Porter Goss, Michael Hayden, Leon Panetta and David Petraeus; former CIA Deputy Directors John McLaughlin, Stephen Kappes, Michael Morel, Avril Haines and David Cohen; and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.” those who signed the letter about Brennan having his clearance revoked– birds of a feather.

                    So the approach to JFK has been the drip drip drip approach. Leak it out over time, then there’s very little sting as a more complete picture emerges. Kind of like UFOs another thing we are told is a bunch of kooks. But not really. We don’t know precisely what they are but they’re something. And the goverment may not know either and whatever they are telling is only a little.


                    1. DSS – it is f**king fiction!!! Geez. It is not a documentary, just shot like a documentary. Hell, I watched Battleship, based on a Hasbro game. I wasn’t looking for accuracy, I was looking for people to blow s**t up. 😉 And they did, a lot. 🙂

                    2. Sorry, not the sort of cinema fiction which interests me either. British crime drama, costume drama (if the era is right), settings between 1918 and 1960, the Technicolor exotica of the 1950s, etc.

                1. Well E Howard Hunt said there was in his last confession not long before his death in 2003: essentially, Lbj green lighted CIA’s Cord Meyer to organize the hit, who enlisted David Morales and E Howard Hunt, and then the grassy knoll shooter, Corsican Lucien Sarti.

                  (in the 70s the Rockefeller commission studied the allegation that Hunt was one of the three vagabonds, he and Frank Sturgis, and took it on Hunt’s word that he was at home in DC cooking.)

                  (in a series of defamation lawsuits around 1980 against Willis Carto and former CIA agent Victor Marchetti, who had accused him of being part of such a cabal– Hunt had swore up and down there was no such thing.

                  I mean, E Howard Hunt, he was one of Nixon’s plumbers, a CIA agent in 1963, helped plan Bay of Pigs, overthrew the guatemalan government, stuff like that. Swore he had nothing to do with it many times over, then decades later said otherwise when he was in extremis. Amazing that he owned these theories that he had denied so vigorously decades before. Kind of makes you wonder: was the earlier denial true or the later admission? I mean Hunt was a professional liar– but realistically, both assertions can’t have both been true at the same time.

                  oh, and he got a medical discharge from the Navy before he joined the OSS, ironically.

                  i just wonder, who knows

                  lots of other ironies, one after the other. here’s just one. cord meyer and howard hunt, what else did they share in common, besides the usual social circles at ivy leagues and OSS/CIA? both their wives died violent deaths.

                  here’s another. cd jackson at Time life coordinated the buy of the zapruder film by Time the day after JFK got shot. Wow, what a fast scoop huh? Well, apparently it wasnt known to the general public he had been working with CIA then and right up until 1964. I mean he and Luce and the Dulles bros all these old Ivy League Oss hands were very tight. another one of their overlapping schemes, Operation mockingbird, a cia plan to influence media, another thing worth remembering

                  who the heck knows; i just know the fiction of journalistic integrity and independence is the greatest fiction peddled on tv day after day.

                  1. See Josiah Thompson on the chain of custody of the Zapruder film. He lays it out step by step. It wasn’t doctored.

              2. PC Schulte,…
                – 50-100 people have “confessed” to being the “Black Dalia” killer.
                Not one confession was found to be valid.

                1. Natacha – it is fiction, you twit. It is not supposed to be real. It just is rather thought-provoking. 😉 Something you haven’t had in years.

                    1. DSS – they are all Natacha to me now, 😉 If they don’t want to be Natacha, they need to identify themselves.

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