Slander or Opinion? Claims Of Racism and Defamation Fly After Education Council Member Is Seen Bouncing Black Child On Lap

download-4A New York City education council meeting recent attracted national attention after one member of the council (and its past President), Robin Broshi, accused another member,  Thomas Wrocklage, of racism after he was seen in a zoom meeting bouncing a black child on his lap. The video below is rather breathtaking but the incident has led to countervailing claims of racism and slander.  As is often the case, we tend to jump on any novel torts claims and this is a good example of the tension between opinion and slander, particularly in such overheated (indeed radioactive) moments in public debates.  It is unfortunately an increasingly common legal question in today’s rage-filled politics. The video of his meeting has now been shown throughout the world.  However, it has some interesting elements as a pedagogical tool for understanding the underlying applicability of tort liability, or lack thereof.

 THE FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The entire 4-hour council meeting is available but here are the highlights. It began with references to a prior “ugly” meeting and a call for more civil discourse by President Maud Maron who notes that “it is possible to condemn racism and at the same time to extend grace and compassion to the people who disappoint you.” That hope however is quickly dashed whenCouncil member Eric Goldberg denounces her “hollow” statement as  “deny[ing her] culpability in creating an environment of division and divisiveness.”

That is when Broshi enters with a bang and refers to a letter campaign and adds:

“a member of this council was racist and I did nothing and I’m ashamed I did nothing and I can sit here during a public meeting and say I’m sorry, I made a mistake, I didn’t speak out verbally when multiple times during the meeting one of the members engaged in behavior that made me ache and hurt for the non-white people that were logged in.”

With that, the meeting was off to the races with allegations of racism and slander.

Ironically, it is Broshi who is then accused by Council Vice-President Edward Irizarry. Irizarry states:

“You, in your comfortable white world can tell us about how we ought to reach down and help the poor Latino, and help the poor black, condescendingly look at us as though we are inferior. Because never, do I see anyone, or any of these advocates, really in communion with these poor students that are not getting the education that they deserve… We don’t want handouts… Cosmetic diversity, that’s what you’re looking for, you’re not looking for true change. You’re not looking to really educate all of the people of this district.”

Broshi then denounces her own white supremacy:

“I want to apologize to you.  I want to acknowledge that calling out the one vote was an example of white privilege and it was an example of trying to silence the legitimacy of your space on this council . . . . There’s work — everyone has work to do and I have work to do.  I have 40 plus years of white supremacy I need to undo and that was unfair of me to make that point and I don’t want to silence your voice, and your voice has merit, Edward.”

It is then that it is clear that Wrocklage was being referenced as a racist earlier and denies the allegation but Broshi again refers to his “racist behavior” and his example of “white people exhibiting their power over people of color.”  She further notes “if you won’t even read a book about white fragility . . . I can’t sit here in a working  business meeting and educate you.” (This issue of the book was raised repeatedly: “Tom! I’ve explained it to you! You can Google, you could read a book!”. “Read Ibram X. Kendi! Read White Fragility! Read How to Talk to White People… It is not my job to educate you! You’re an educated white man! And you could read a book! And you can educate yourself!”).

Well you get the idea, but here is a clip:

This is the relevant transcript:

Morden: During our last meeting you were talking about someone’s friend on someone’s lap when there were actual kids who were saying there are racist acts in your school! Sad! You are sad! But today you want to talk about…

Broshi: Ben!…It hurts people when they see a white man bouncing a brown baby on their lap and they don’t know the context! That is harmful! It makes people cry! It makes people log out of our meeting! They don’t come here! They don’t come to our meetings! And they give me a hard time because I’m not vocal enough! And I’m not trying to be a martyr! I’m trying to illustrate to you that you think I’m a f**k–excuse me–you think I’m a social justice warrior! And you think I’m being patronizing and I’m getting pressure for not being enough of an advocate! And I take that to heart and that hurts me! And I have to learn to be a better white person!

Wrocklage: I would like to know before this meeting adjourns how having my friend’s nephew on my lap was hurtful to people and was racist. Can you please explain?

Broshi: Tom! I’ve explained it to you! You can Google–you can read a book! Read [inaudible]! Read White Fragility! Read How to Talk to White People! It’s not my job to educate you! You’re an educated white man! You could read a book and you could learn about it yourself!

Others then join in on attacking Wrocklage for having a black child on his lap.  Emily Hellstrom joins in attacking Wrocklage and demands an apology:

“You had a smirk and a grin on your face when you pulled that child in… you in a joking tone, said ‘my living room is integrated right now’… as if, as if, the hundreds of years of first slavery and then segregation were nothing, would go poof, because you happened to have a black friend… So the fact that—and perhaps you didn’t intend it to be racist—and that does not matter, actually, was racist… You need to look deep inside and say ‘wow, I hurt a lot of people.’ Whether you intended to or not, you did.”

Wrocklage insisted “I was also laughing at the absurdity of the cognitive dissonance of people like you. People exactly like you, who are telling people of colour how they should feel. How absurd that is.”

However, Council member Shino Tanikawa also demanded an apology from Wrocklage:

“If you’re not willing to read then you’re not doing the work. And this is work we all have to do. And you can disagree with people but this is not an ideological difference. This is how black and indigenous people of color see the world. And it’s not for you and me—East Asian affluent person–to deny that reality. And we have to get on board, we have to understand what these people are telling us, we have to do the work, we have to get uncomfortable. But I don’t see some of you willing to do that uncomfortable work.

…When somebody tells you that you did something wrong, the first thing to do is reflect on that and then apologize, even if you don’t agree, you apologize… That is what grown-ups do.”

That is just a part of the meeting, but it raises a common question for meetings and protests where such allegations fly of racism and other forms of bias.

PRIVATE CITIZEN OR PUBLIC FIGURE?

The first step is to determine the status of these council members. Until this meeting became an international sensation, none of these individuals were high visibility individuals.  However, they are council members who appear at public meetings, including current or former officers of the council.  A claim could be made that they are all at least limited public figures, if not full public figures, due to their thrusting themselves into the public eye. There is however a claim to be made that participating in such public meetings should not cause a private citizen to trigger the higher burdens of being a public figure.  This video has gone viral but, until it did so, this was a small educational council meeting with an open mike.  That threshold issue could create some very interesting arguments over the tipping point for public figures.

This issue will turn on Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323, 352 (1974) and its progeny of cases.  The Supreme Court has held that public figure status applies when  someone “thrust[s] himself into the vortex of [the] public issue [and] engage[s] the public’s attention in an attempt to influence its outcome.” A limited-purpose public figure status applies if someone voluntarily “draw[s] attention to himself” or allows himself to become part of a controversy “as a fulcrum to create public discussion.” Wolston v. Reader’s Digest Association, 443 U.S. 157, 168 (1979).  Given the earlier controversy from the preceding meeting and the letter campaign referenced by Broshi, a court could find that Wrocklage is a limited public figure but there is a room for challenge on this point.

THE STANDARD

Under New York law, Wrocklage must show (1) a “defamatory statement of fact concerning the plaintiff; (2) publication to a third party; (3) fault [(actual malice for public figures)]; (4) falsity of the defamatory statement; and (5) special damages or per se accountability (defamatory on its face).” Biro v. Conde Nast, 883 F. Supp. 2d 441, 446 (S.D.N.Y. 2012).

The standard for defamation for public figures and officials in the United States is the product of a decision decades ago in New York Times v. Sullivan. Ironically, this is precisely the environment in which the opinion was written and he is precisely the type of plaintiff that the opinion was meant to deter. The Supreme Court ruled that tort law could not be used to overcome First Amendment protections for free speech or the free press. The Court sought to create “breathing space” for the media by articulating that standard that now applies to both public officials and public figures. In order to prevail, West must show either actual knowledge of its falsity or a reckless disregard of the truth. The standard for defamation for public figures and officials in the United States is the product of a decision decades ago in New York Times v. Sullivan. Ironically, this is precisely the environment in which the opinion was written and he is precisely the type of plaintiff that the opinion was meant to deter. The Supreme Court ruled that tort law could not be used to overcome First Amendment protections for free speech or the free press. The Court sought to create “breathing space” by articulating that standard that now applies to both public officials and public figures.

THE ALLEGED DEFAMATION

At various points, it is clear that Wrocklage is being called an effective racist, which Wrocklage objects to as slander.  There is no question that an allegation of racism is a serious matter but Broshi could challenge the basis for claiming a per se category of defamation.  New York recognizes four categories: “statements (i) charging plaintiff with serious crime; (ii) that tend to injure another [plaintiff] in his . . . trade, business, or profession; (iii) that plaintiff has a loathsome disease; or (iv) imputing unchastity to a woman.” Liberman v. Gelstein, 605 N.E.2d 344, 347 (N.Y. 1992). This is not an allegation of a crime, but it certainly would injure the professional reputation of Wrocklage to be labeled a racist.

Yet, a defamatory statement “must do more than cause discomfort or affront”; it must lead “reasonable minds” to “think the speech attributes odious or despicable characterizations to its subject.” Chau v. Lewis, 771 F.3d 118, 127 (2d Cir. 2014). In this case there are countervailing statements that Wrocklage is being accused of acting like a racist rather than being a racist.  For example, consider Broshi’s later comment:

“Integration is a system. Tom I don’t know what to tell you, I know you believe you did nothing wrong, but you have a 100 people that told you—I am not calling you racist… I’m saying that was racist behavior. . . We are all capable of racist behavior. I am capable of racist behavior… I owned up to it in this meeting! Right now, when I apologized to Edward… And we should apologize when we offend people of color! When they get upset. When they say this is a harmful space, when they log out of a meeting immediately because they see white people exhibiting their power over people of color… If you can’t even read a book about White Fragility or Ibrahim X. Kendi, I can’t sit here in a working business meeting and educate you about the distinction between interpersonal racism and systemic racism.”

 

For Wrocklage, the distinction between acting racist and being racist is a precious one.  He is still being denounced as effectively or actually a racist.

That however leads to the next complication: opinion or hyperbole.  The Supreme Court actually dealt with such an overheated council meeting in Greenbelt Cooperative Publishing Association v. Bresler, 398 U.S. 6 (1970), in which a newspaper was sued for using the word “blackmail” in connection to a real estate developer who was negotiating with the Greenbelt City Council to obtain zoning variances. The Court applied the actual malice standard and noted:

It is simply impossible to believe that a reader who reached the word “blackmail” in either article would not have understood exactly what was meant: It was Bresler’s public and wholly legal negotiating proposals that were being criticized. No reader could have thought that either the speakers at the meetings or the newspaper articles reporting their words were charging Bresler with the commission of a criminal offense. On the contrary, even the most careless reader must have perceived that the word was no more than rhetorical hyperbole, a vigorous epithet used by those who considered Bresler’s negotiating position extremely unreasonable.

Of course, calling someone repeatedly a racist is more than simply “rhetorical hyperbole.” However, it is also part of a public debate that is heavily laden with protected political speech.  If Broshi can be sued for defamation in making such an allegation, it could chill political speech at a time when the entire nation is focused on our continuing struggle with racism.  This is her opinion of the actions of Wrocklage– an opinion that has been subjected to both worldwide criticism and support.

Yet, the Supreme Court has shown that there are limits to opinion as a defense as in Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 497 U.S. 1 (1990). In that case, there was another inflammatory allegation stemming from a public meeting.  An Ohio high school wrestling coach sued over an opinion column alleging that he had lied under oath at a public hearing, saying that it was tantamount to an allegation of perjury.  The trial judge granted summary judgment on the ground that the assertion in the newspaper column was opinion.  The Court however rejected the defense in the case in 7-2 opinion written by Chief Justice William Rehnquist. The Court noted that “expressions of ‘opinion’ may often imply an assertion of objective fact”  and may inflict “as much damage to reputation” as factual claims. Moreover, some opinions are based on assertions that are “sufficiently factual to be susceptible of being proved true or false.”

I would submit that calling someone a racist is not one of those facts easily “susceptible of being proved true or false.”  Moreover, the risk to chilling political speech is too great, particularly when the meaning and systemic presence of racism is being debated throughout our society.

THE VERDICT

Thus, Wrocklage’s denouncing the slander is likely as rhetorical as the allegation of racism from a legal perspective.  That does not excuse any of these attacks, but the recourse for Wrocklage is to engage his critics in the court of public opinion, as he has with a global audience.

 

297 thoughts on “Slander or Opinion? Claims Of Racism and Defamation Fly After Education Council Member Is Seen Bouncing Black Child On Lap”

  1. ICI
    Ideological
    Corruption
    Index

    Most commenters this blog have a high ICI value. Congratulations!

  2. California shuts down because of COVID–

    BUT IS ANYBODY BLAMING BLM CROWDED STREET RIOTS ?

    ALL OF WHICH WERE ILLEGAL UNDER COVID RESTRICTIONS

    WE ARE IN ANARCHY AND CIVIL WAR ALREADY. WAKE UP!

    1. Mr K,

      The news articles coming out are piling up. You’re right, get ready, stay ready.

      Former CIA Officer and counter-terrorism expert Kevin Shipp says, “I think people need to understand that the violence you are seeing in the streets is going to increase leading up to November. We are seeing Black Lives Matter (BLM) mob thugs attack people just because they are white. . . . The riots and looting is going to get worse. . . . Let me say this, Black Lives Matter is not a civil rights movement at all. People need to understand that Black Lives Matter is directly connected to the Nation of Islam. Louis Farrakhan teaches that white people are devils and are inferior to black people and should be eliminated as should the Jews. Both of Black Lives’ leaders have come out and said we are Marxists, and we train our people in Marxism. . . . Black Lives Matter is essentially a terrorist organization, and yet these mayors and governors are leaving them alone. Not only that, but large companies like Coca-Cola are contributing millions of dollars to Black Lives Matter. It is an organization of anarchy bent on overturning our constitutional system and attacks churches, Christians and Jews. . . . This is serious, and it’s going to get worse. Black Lives Matter is going to increase its attacks on white Americans, Jewish Americans, and these companies need to stop supporting that.”

      More….

      https://usawatchdog.com/violence-in-streets-going-to-increase-kevin-shipp/

      1. Look in the mirror. Ask yourself am I a man or a mouse? Then act

        1. get fit fast
        2. TRIM DEBT — PARE DOWN RISK
        3. have the savings ready. cash on hand, junk silver coin, & food & meds
        4. organize household first, then get that neighborhood watch ready fast

        the grasshopper wastes away the days of summer, the ant prepares for winter

        7 WEEKS OF RIOTING AND ANARCHY AND SELECTIVE VIOLENCE AGAINST LAW ABIDING CITIZENS– WHEN DO WE FIGHT BACK?

        DEMOCRAT NATIONAL LEADERSHIP HELL BENT FOR LEATHER ON DESTABILIZING AMERICA WITH BLM RIOTS AND CHAOS AND VIOLENCE

        they think they will get a “blue wave” out of this that will make them a permanent majority
        AND THEY ARE WILLING FOR YOU TO DIE SO THEY CAN WIN

        get organized and get tough. feel the fear, let it wash over you, enervate you, and awaken the hate

        we are going to need a lot of energy to do what it takes quickly. inside of you is a volcano of energy that can awaken–

        just quit stopping yourself, let the anger boil inside, the turn it into steam to drive your engine, become a locomotive

        1. I suggest remaining calm, but still can be fired up Mr K.

          I forget where, that guy the other day had 3 hood rats w/rap sheets break into his house about 11 PM/1 AM?

          He calmly grabs his gun, shot killed 2, but his gun grabbed another & was able to wound the 3rd.

          We should all be better at all the time keeping our equipment, generators, vehicles, HVAC, etc., “Well Regulated aka in good working order”.

          Many people have moved further out from cities, but we’re all going to have to deal with these many issue. Who would have thought we’d be in this place a year ago. Some did that I’ve been reading for sometime, they just didn’t know it’d by a Ph’kin Bill Gates/Fauci/Chicom Bio-Weapon.

          BTW Fox is ok but news I can use in more on places like Zerohedge, etc…. the real news that they ole dogs won’t show us unless forced.

          1. a little rioting may be what they ordered, but they’ve had a lot, and they’re going to get a lot more

            some genies just dont go back in the bottle when they want them to

            remember it’s people, that is,,your own social connections, which are always your greatest asset. a good team is what we all need more than anything

            1. The other day there was a video, Portland Or I think, rioters had someone trapped in their car, then whoever in the car just started shooting wildly & crowd fled away.

              It reminded my of one of the stories out of Argentina after the 2000 economic collapse. As LEO pulls back, as we’ve been seeing it starts to becomes law of the jungle. ….cover fire sometimes is just to move to safety.

              All this US legal BS about how to hold/brandish a weapon goes out the Ph’ window. Ask those hood rats in any big US city how those laws work when there’s shootings going on.

    2. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8515507/Young-mother-24-shot-dead-fianc-saying-lives-matter.html

      GIRL MURDERED FOR SAYING ALL LIVES MATTER!
      SEE, SHE WAS WHITE. SO HER LIFE DOESNT MATTER

      WHO CAN MAKE IT MATTER? “speak, strike, redress1”

      your skin is going to be your uniform, in the next phase, soon, if this keeps up the way the Democrat leadership wants it
      they green lighted this prison riot and so they should reap the whirlwind

  3. another church arson; statute of Mary vandalized; cops attacked in NYC and are under screwy orders not to defend themselves; people dragged from car; and a girl murdered because she said “all lives matter”

    None of this picked up by non-Fox stations. Im not a big fan of fox but at least they report something besides nonstop BS

    the violence and anarchy continues

    strong vigilante action is now morally warranted against rioters and street thug terrorists

    but keep on asking, who has sent them into action, who has green lighted them up until now, and who is benefiting? cui bono?

  4. Hi John. Now another CEC president is calling me a teen stalker repeatedly online. Does this cross the line into defamation with malicious intent? Is this actionable in your opinion? You can take this case on a contingency fee basis if you would like. Most of the money if we do succeed, can be donated to charity.

    1. That same CEC President (Tajh Sutton) is now contacting my firms twitter account in an attempt to get me fired.

      1. Thomas Wrocklage – the left needs to cancel dissent, You are standing in their way. Hopefully your company stands tall. If not, let us know and we can add it to the hundreds of companies we are boycotting.

      2. Thomas – Whoa, so sorry to hear about your woes with CEC.

        The lady yelling, no, screaming in the video made my jaw drop.

        Bizarre incident.

        As Paul said, stand strong. 💪

    2. Jonathan doesn’t respond to comments and it’s not clear that he reads them. You could email and/or call him. His info is available via the George Washington University website.

  5. From a UK Perspective, I thought the entire episode was astounding.
    Robin Broshi appears to be one of those people who are not only determined to see RACISM!!! at every turn, but also is determined to take mortal offence on issues that do not, in any way, affect her directly.
    In doing so she is, in fact, advertising her own racism to all and sundry by not only presuming to speak for others, but presuming that Black people MUST think the same as she and be offended by the same things she takes offence at.

    Ironically, the actions like her are more likely to damage community relations because they will build up a huge pressure of resentment.

  6. At this point, I think we should pretty much ignore anything that masquerades as an accusation of racism. They are invariably either outright hoaxes or too trivial for sober people to take seriously.

  7. It’s obvious white people are not “Supreme” due to their extreme individualism, lack of proper social instincts, and ongoing failure to cohere in any meaningful political way.

    However, we are good at technology stuff. And wars. So there’s hope.

    1. Good at wars? If you’re not kidding, you must have missed our failure in almost every military excursion since Viet Nam.

  8. It’s becoming clear that, among progressive activists, Martin Luther King’s goal of integration and racial harmony has been forsaken for a virulent racial tribalism (not for whites, but encouraged for African Americans).

    When Broshi comes the closest to a statement of grievance, she indicates that she received complaints from A-As who were troubled by Wrocklage appearing to be caretaking a black infant on the Zoom meeting, but without supplying a “context” (explanation).

    Wrocklage gives an explanation that he was “looking after his friend’s nephew”. Shouldn’t that be the end of the grievance?

    No, not if some new rule of racial tribalism has been (unknowingly) violated by a white man caretaking a black toddler. Have you ever seen or heard this rule spoken or written anywhere? Probably not. But the radical left no longer believes in written rules, or pre-notification of rules.
    In the rad-prog mind, whatever offends (basic instincts) is an unspoken rule, and there is no limit to the range and variety of offenses that may be pointed out….it’s subject to situational expansion.

    The closest thing we can compare this to Antebellum racism is the South, but with the roles reversed. The “rules” were spongy and elastic, giving the white landowner, his family members, and the slave overseer (whipmaster) arbitrary and capricious power over black slaves. Now, in 2020, is it possible that we’re dealing with a reverse racism which reverses the power relationship, and owes no particular obligation to make the rules clear in advance? If so, we can begin to understand and verbalize the “rules” of historically-reversed dominance-submission relationships across racial boundaries that the radical left sees as reparative to historical injustice.

    It is entirely fair and accurate to describe the fitful attack on Mr. Wrocklage as reverse racism. Some of his black overseers on the Zoom call did not like the look he presented on the call video, and sought to have him punished. In their neuveaux tribal code, they speak with more authority on what a white man can do than any white person.

    The way to stop this mindless tribalism is to name it and shame it.

    1. pbinca

      Nobody ever won a tribal warfare with idle talk.

      Organized violence is what wins wars.

      Losers get sold into slavery

      That’s what they are always talking about slavery for– they want us to be their slaves

      Not just tax slaves– they got that already.

      Literally, next, slaves. They want your women for their slaves. literally.
      ‘this clip captures a satirical stunt but it is the reality the street thugs are gunning for.

  9. Once again you are selling nonsense that has been disproven

    Crowdstikes claim to be able to source a hack flies against the rest of the industry and reality.

    When they were under oath as opposed to engaged in marketing, they said exactly what all the real experts have said all along.

    You can not source a hack without inside information from the source. None exists.

    But their testimony more damning – they had logs of files transfered by the hackers.
    The total transfers were small and did not include the DNC emails.

    Again – that is not proof – expert hackers alter logs. They can leave no fingerprints, or more likely leave false fingerprints.

    Regardless, at this time anyone claiming even a 50:50 chance that the DNC emails came from a Russian hack is unfamiliar with hacking.

    VIPS – that is former members of the NSA concluded that it was more likely than not that the emails were leaked rather than hacked.
    And crowdstrikes testimony confirmed that nothing they found precluded that the emails were leaked.

    VIPS was atleast honest – unlike crowdstrike and without being forced under oath noted that the evidence that they were leaked could also be fabricated.

    Any evidence on a computer can be fabricated.

    And now you will tell us all that Carter Page was a russian asset again.

    You care little about your credibility

  10. Mr. Henry’s testmony is essentially hearsay.

    He did not have access to the servers, DNC network, or log files.

    Regardless, as a matter of law, Crowdstrikes testimony takes precedence.

  11. BTB – the ignorance is yours.

    We already know the IC process was corrupted both during Obama and even into the Trump administration.
    And that the IC has repeatedly lied to us.

    We were told the conclusion that Russia was interfering was unanimous amoung all intelligence agencies. We now know that only a few people hand picked by Brennan created that assessment. We also know that there was significant dissent – including from James Comey. We were told that assessment was based on intelligence from foreign allies – yet nothing came through 5Eyes, and todate no actual reliable foreign intelligence exists.
    We were told that the Steele Dossier was not a basis for the assessment – when it turns out it was the ONLY basis for the assessment.

    I would further remind you that this is the same Intelligence community that told you that Iraq was building a nuclear bomb,
    That missed the collapse of the USSR. That missed 9/11, There is an incredibly long track record of failure by the Intelligence community.

    Why is it that you choose to beleive them on a claim where they admit – they never examined the actual evidence, and they relied on analysis by CrowdStrike that EVERYONE involved in hacking knows it BOGUS.

    Short of a confession or spies at the source, you can NEVER confirm the source of a hack unless the source wants you to know who they are. All hackers – all nations have and use the hacking tools of other nations and hackers. The use of a russian tool means nothing. Shortly before the DNC Hack Frence television was hacked by Turkish hackers using the same russian tools.

    Further CrowdStrike has a reputation for making false claims about the source for hacks. They infamously blamed Russia for hacking Ukrainian artilery – something that never happened.

    And they attributed a major hack to China that did not come from China.

    We now have the actual testimony of the people that all your purported conclusions are based on.
    That testimony does not back your conclusions.

    Next – your proof does not prove what you claim.

    I do not disagree with the senate committee conclusion you cite. But that would have been true of every US election in the past 50 years.
    It also would be true of many other foreign countries. The BBC takes positions on US elections – that is foreign interference in US elections.
    VOA and Radio Free Europe have tried to influence global elections throughout my life.

    The “influencing elections” claim is meaningless. Absent going to war with the world we can not prevent it.

    At the core of the “foreign influence” delusion is the presumption that you are allowed to bar ANYONE from engaging in persuasion you do not like that is false.

    Russia attempted to influence the US election – so did the BBC, China, MSNBC, and John Oliver.

    That is how free speech works. You do not get to decide who can speak just because you do not like what they have to say.

    As to Mr. Henry’s testimony – actually read it. It is useless. The US was responsible for the Stuxnet attack on Iran – we learned that from Snowden’s leaks. Yet, by all appearances Stuxnet came from Israel. The US deliberately tried to make the Iranians beleive that they were hacked by Israel not the US.

    False flags are the norm in intelligence, and they are so sophisticated at this point that you can not even be sure that what appears to be a clue from a mistake is not a deliberate effort to mislead. Mr. Henry either knows better – or he should not be in intelligence. The only means of establishing the source of a hack are an admission or an inside source.

    Finally we have crowstrike – a consultant to the DNC and the only people with access to the evidence.

    THEIR testimony is:

    The DNC was hacked twice.
    It can not be determined who hacked them.
    It can not be determined whether the DNC emails that were released by Wikileaks came from these hacks.
    There is no evidence is the logs of the transfer of the emails.

    Crowdstrike’s testimony does not prove the Russian’s did not hack the DNC and take the emails.

    But it proves Mr. Henry’s opinion is worthless.

    With regard to specifics – those actually work AGAINST you.
    Crowdstrike DID have indications that the hackers – whoever they were retrieved some files – not the emails.
    The fact that some of their activity was logged strongly suggests that is multiple Gigabytes of emails had been transfered there would be a record – there was not. Cloudstrike testified there were no records of the transfer of the emails.
    There were records of other transfers.

    1. IC employees are usually spying on their ex-significant others, and when they are not doing that, they pay for sex with cheap whores, like so many public employees (see the Secret Service).

      I’m just glad I live in a state where Dems are an extreme minority and have been just about forever. If you chose to live in a Dem-run state, and you can get out, you must get out.

      1. Further evidence that the oppion of the IC should not have much weight.

        It is not like they got
        Vietnam
        Iran, Iran, Iran, ….
        the fall of the USSR
        Sadam, Sadam,
        9/11
        ……

        Right.

        Why is the IC suddenly trustworthy when they are bending their opinion into the political sphere ?

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