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Bashar Assad gassed his own people after Donald Trump said the United States would get out of Syria?

April 9, 2018

  Allow me a moment to affix my tinfoil hat firmly on my head before beginning this post. Okay, the tinfoil hat is on, here we go. 

  Recently Donald Trump has stated he wants the United States to get out of Syria:

“And, by the way, we’re knocking the hell out of ISIS. We’ll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon. Let the other people take care of it now. Very soon. Very soon, we’re coming out. We’re going to have 100 percent of the caliphate, as they call it — sometimes referred to as ‘land.’ We’re taking it all back quickly. Quickly. But we’re going to be coming out of there real soon. We’re going to get back to our country, where we belong, where we want to be.”

  Over the weekend we were told that Bashar Assad gassed his own people and in response Donald Trump reversed his position while calling the dictator an “animal.”

 “Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay. Open area immediately for medical help and verification. Another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. SICK!”

  And warmonger John McCain blamed Donald Trump’s talk about leaving Syria for emboldening Bashar Assad: 

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) charged that President Trump’s rhetoric this month about pulling the U.S. out of Syria “emboldened” the dictator there to gas civilians in Douma.

McCain said Sunday that Trump “signaled to the world that the United States would prematurely withdraw from Syria,” and “Bashar Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers have heard him, and emboldened by American inaction, Assad has reportedly launched another chemical attack against innocent men, women and children, this time in Douma.”

  I am not defending Bashar Assad here but does any of this pass the test of logic? Why would Bashar Assad gas his own people when the United States was on the verge of leaving his country when this action would ensure the United States would retaliate?

  That seems illogical to me and John McCain’s statement is equally as illogical: how could Donald Trump’s promise to leave Syria embolden Assad to do something which would ensure he would not? 

  So the question is, who would benefit from the United States staying in Syria? It would not be Bashar Assad but it could be the warmongers, war profiteers, or the deep state. But it would appear that somebody wants us to be there and is manipulating Donald Trump. 

None of this story seems logical to me, but perhaps I am trying to apply logic where no logic exists.

 malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

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The FBI raids Michael Cohen’s office

April 9, 2018

  The big news of the day is the FBI raid conducted on Donald Trump’s lawyer’s office. Here is more:

The FBI on Monday raided the office of President Trump‘s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and seized emails, tax documents and records related to his payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels.

Cohen’s lawyer, Stephen Ryan, said in a statement that federal prosecutors in Manhattan obtained a search warrant after receiving a referral “in part” from special counsel Robert Mueller. Ryan called the search “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.” 

The New York Times reported that the payment to Daniels is just one of “many topics” being looked at by the FBI.

Other seized documents include business records and communications between Cohen and Trump, but the raid does not appear to be directly connected to Mueller’s probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, according to The Times.

Among the materials agents secured are those related to Cohen’s $130,000 payment to Daniels as part of a nondisclosure agreement related to her alleged 2006 affair with Trump.

  The raid does not appear to be related to Russian collusion however this payment to Stormy Daniels could prove to be a problem for the President due to its timing in the 2016 election.

  Having said that, whatever happened to attorney/client privilege? If I remember correctly during the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal the former Secretary of State named her aide, Cheryl Mills, one of her attorneys to protect communications between the two and it worked because of attorney/client privilege. But now apparently there is no such thing as attorney/client privilege.

  The collusion investigation seems to have fallen apart, as has apparently the obstruction investigation and now Robert Mueller seems to be digging for anything he can use to take Donald Trump down. But besides that I believe Robert Mueller is actually trying to goad the President into firing him and disbanding the special counsel so the Democrats can move forward with impeachment charges.

Much like the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, the result of the investigation  has already been determined  and they are now seeking a means to the end.

 malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Sunday, April 8th open thread: ‘Everybody’s Happy Nowadays’

April 8, 2018

open-thread  Here is the open thread for Sunday, April 8th. Please feel free to post links to interesting articles and to discuss whatever issues arise during the course of the day. Nothing is off-topic here.

  Last week we discussed 7 stories, did you miss any of them? If so there is an easy way to make sure it does not happen again. I understand that all of you are busy and cannot always find the time to check the blog for updates so why not subscribe to America’s Watchtower and receive email updates whenever I write a new post? That is the easiest way to follow the blog to ensure you never miss another post.

  In addition to subscribing you can also follow America’s Watchtower on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the links on the right. But you will get more than that for I often post links to articles probably will not be writing about so it is a great way to keep up with what is happening.

  The Twitter widget in the sidebar is fully interactive. This widget updates my tweets in real time and allows you to respond to or retweet my tweets right from the blog. It also allows you to tweet me right from America’s Watchtower.  

  Here is the Buzzcocks performing “Everybody’s Happy Nowadays”  from Top of the Pops in 1979.

frui diem

Donald Trump signs memorandum ending illegal immigration ‘catch and release’ program

April 7, 2018

  After years of inaction by the Congress on illegal immigration we are beginning to see some movement take place. Earlier in the week Jeff Sessions announced new quotas on immigration judges, yesterday he also announced a new “zero tolerance” policy, and now we are learning that last night Donald Trump signed a memo ordering the end to the “catch and release” policy of the Obama administration. Here is more:

President Trump signed a memorandum on Friday ordering agencies to “expeditiously end” the practice known as “catch and release” that allows immigrants caught in the U.S. without proper documents to be released from detention while their cases play out in court.

he memo signed by Trump orders the Department of Homeland Security, in coordination with other agencies, to submit a report to the president within 45 days “detailing all measures that their respective departments have pursued or are pursuing to expeditiously end ‘catch and release’ practices.”

The report instructs departments to share information on any contracts to construct or operate detention facilities along the border as well as steps taken to assign asylum officers at detention facilities, among other measures.

  Of course we know that many of the illegal immigrants who were released into the public never showed up for their immigration hearing so this is a step in the right direction. And steps will be taken to ensure those who are legitimately seeking asylum in the United States will still get their cases heard.

  A few small steps in the right direction over the last week and I believe this is a big one if it is implemented. That is still a big “if” in my mind, we know how slow the Federal government likes to work…

 malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Jeff Sessions implements ‘zero tolerance’ policy on illegal immigration

April 6, 2018

  While attacking the Congress for failing to act on immigration reform Jeff Sessions announce a “zero tolerance” policy on people crossing into the United States illegally. Here is more:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Friday he’s implementing a zero tolerance policy for immigrants illegally crossing the Southwest border.

Sessions notified all federal prosecutors along that part of the border of the new policy in a memo Friday and directed them to make prosecuting criminal immigration offenses a priority.

He also directed prosecutors to work with the Department of Homeland Security to develop guidelines for prosecuting offenses under immigration law. 

“To those who wish to challenge the Trump Administration’s commitment to public safety, national security, and the rule of law, I warn you: illegally entering this country will not be rewarded, but will instead be met with the full prosecutorial powers of the Department of Justice,” he said in a statement.

“The situation at our Southwest Border is unacceptable,” Sessions said in the statement. “Congress has failed to pass effective legislation that serves the national interest — that closes dangerous loopholes and fully funds a wall along our southern border.”

   Jeff Sessions is finally starting to make a little noise, at least on illegal immigration, this week because this comes on the heals of his announcing quotas on immigration judges.

  I am still skeptical anything is going to change on the Southern border, especially when Jeff Sessions stated he has directed prosecutors to work with Homeland Security to develop guidelines for prosecuting illegal immigrants. It sounds like a move to placate the base to me but maybe, just maybe, we will start to see a change in the way illegal immigration is handled moving forward.

 malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Devin Nunes threatens to enforce subpoena if the FBI does not release memo to the House Intelligence Committee which was used for Russian probe

April 5, 2018

  The House Intelligence Committee has been seeking a clean copy of the memo which was used to begin the Russian probe but to date the FBI has not been willing to hand it over. Now, according to this story, Devin Nunes is threatening to enforce a subpoena to get the document. Here is more:

Congressional investigators are still facing roadblocks over FBI records, despite promises of cooperation from FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, according to a letter obtained by Fox News on Wednesday.

The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, wrote that he has been denied a clean copy of the 2016 FBI memo that kick-started the Russia counterintelligence investigation — now known as the special counsel’s Russia probe. 

“On March 14th, 2018, Committee investigators were given access to a still heavily redacted version of the EC (FBI memo known as an electronic communication), which — as I informed Director Wray the next day via phone — was unsatisfactory,” Nunes, R-Calif., wrote.

“On March 23, 2018, FBI’s Assistant Director for Legislative Affairs informed the Committee that FBI would refuse to further unredact the EC (FBI memo) based on its sensitivity. The document in question is not highly classified, and law enforcement sources have apparently not been shy about leaking to the press information that the Department and Bureau refuse to share with Congress.”

Nunes threatened enforcement of subpoenas that were issued last August if the FBI memo is not provided by April 11. 

  According to Devin Nunes the information in this memo is not highly classified but, while the agencies have had no problem leaking the information they wanted to get out to the public, they have been unwilling to cooperate with the House Intelligence Committee. Why is that? What are they hiding?

  Peter Strzok was removed from the Russia investigation after texts emerged between himself and his lover in which he displayed a vicious anti-Trump bias, as well as discussing an “insurance plan” to stop Donald Trump if he was elected which was discussed in a meeting with Andrew McCabe. It is believed that Peter Strzok authored the memo in question and so it would appear this is what the FBI does not want the House Intelligence Committee to learn.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Robert Mueller assured Donald Trump he was not a criminal target of the Russian probe

April 4, 2018

  According to this story three sources are reporting the Robert Mueller has assured Donald Trump he is not a criminal target in the Russian probe. Apparently he said this during negotiations with Trump’s legal team to get the President to testify. Here is more:

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III informed President Trump’s attorneys last month that he is continuing to investigate the president but does not consider him a criminal target at this point, according to three people familiar with the discussions.

In private negotiations in early March about a possible presidential interview, Mueller described Trump as a subject of his investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Prosecutors view someone as a subject when that person has engaged in conduct that is under investigation but there is not sufficient evidence to bring charges.

  Two things strike me about this quote and they are related. First; the words “at this point” and second; the definition of “subject.” I will take them in reverse order. A “subject” as defined above is a person who is under investigation but there is no evidence of a crime. This is a pretty clear admission that while Robert Mueller is still digging he has nothing on the President.

  And this brings us to “at this point.” Personally I believe that if Robert Mueller has found no evidence against Donald Trump “at this point” he will not find any evidence with which to charge him in the investigation so he is playing on the President’s arrogance, hoping to coax him into testifying so he can hopefully trap him with a process crime as he did with Michael Flynn. All it takes is one slip of the tongue and “at this point” becomes gotcha. Ask Scooter Libby…

  There is no upside for Donald Trump to testify, in fact there is only a downside, and I would hope the President’s law team understand this and advise him not to take the bait.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium