Devin Nunes, GOP Head of House Intel Committee, Is Subject Of Leak Complaint By Senate Intel Committee

Ken AshfordCongress, Political Scandals, Republicans, Trump & Administration, White House SecrecyLeave a Comment

The Senate Intelligence Committee has concluded that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee were behind the leak of private text messages between the Senate panel’s top Democrat and a Russian-connected lawyer, according to two congressional officials briefed on the matter. Senator Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, the committee’s Republican chairman, and Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat, … Read More

Kushner Can’t See The Secret Stuff

Ken AshfordTrump & Administration, White House SecrecyLeave a Comment

Politico has the story: Presidential son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner has had his security clearance downgraded — a move that will prevent him from viewing many of the sensitive documents to which he once had unfettered access. Kushner is not alone. All White House aides working on the highest-level interim clearances — at the Top Secret/SCI-level — were informed in … Read More

New Lead on Trump’s Obstruction Of Justice

Ken AshfordTrump & Administration, White House SecrecyLeave a Comment

The New York Times has a story that might prove pivotal in any obstruction-of-justice case that Mueller may pursue against Trump: The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has obtained a letter that President Trump and a top political aide drafted in the days before Mr. Trump fired the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, which explains the president’s rationale for why he … Read More

Will The Attorney General’s Investigation Into Leaks Snare Trump And Fox News?

Ken AshfordNorth Korea, Right Wing and Inept Media, Trump & Administration, White House SecrecyLeave a Comment

Here is a tweet from Fox News this morning at 5:30 a.m.: U.S. spy satellites detect North Korea moving anti-ship cruise missiles to patrol boat https://t.co/BPFXsLffgy — FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) August 8, 2017 By the way, that’s some serious shit, but let’s set aside the content and just note that Fox & Friends linked to a Fox News site … Read More

Trump’s Vacation Doesn’t Stop The Tweets (and Leaks)

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & Administration, White House SecrecyLeave a Comment

Nine tweets so far today from Trump — several attacking the “failing” New York Times for an article about 2020 Republicans contenders against Trump, a few trying to reassure everyone that he is actually “working” on his vacation, and this… … which seems to unintentionally confirm that there was… collusion?  Ah well. Why did Trump go after Blumenthal? Probably this: … Read More

Lot Of Hypocrisy About Leaks

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Political Scandals, Russia, Trump & Administration, White House Secrecy, Wiretapping & SurveillanceLeave a Comment

The Pentagon Papers was a leak from Daniel Ellsberg. It helped de-legitimize the Vietnam War. Deep Throat was Mark Felt, a top FBI official. He gave Woodward and Bernstein the deep background on the Watergate scandal. Edward Snowden leaked information about US government surveillance programs. Chelsea Manning leaked documents and video relating to Iraqi air strikes, diplomatic cables, and Gitmo, … Read More

Then And Now

Ken AshfordCongress, Constitution, Obama & Administration, White House Secrecy, Wiretapping & SurveillanceLeave a Comment

53 years ago today, an outgoing President Eisenhower said: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” He went on: “We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or … Read More

Not The Same Thing, Sarah

Ken AshfordElection 2012, White House SecrecyLeave a Comment

Inexplicable? I've sort of been busy lately, so I haven't followed the Wikileaks things closely.  But if I were to offer a premature uninformed opinion, it would be along the lines of "so what?" Is it an embarrassment to the U.S.?  Of course.  Is it surprising that we might diss our allies behind their back?  No.  And we know they diss us, … Read More

Unintelligent Intelligence

Ken AshfordWar on Terrorism/Torture, White House Secrecy, Wiretapping & SurveillanceLeave a Comment

Everyone should read the Washington Post's recent effort in investigative reporting, Top Secret America. As a piece of journalism, it represents what actual journalism should be — not what passes for journalism in today's he-said-she-said creaming-heads world. That said, the subject of the piece is distressing. Since George W. Bush, we've had this reckless, ridiculous, uncoordinated expansion of intelligence agencies, all sucking … Read More

The McClellan Book

Ken AshfordBush & Co., Iraq, Plamegate, War on Terrorism/Torture, White House SecrecyLeave a Comment

You know, it doesn’t say anything that many of us didn’t already know.  It’s just nice to see someone on the inside of the Bush Administration admit that these things went on: WASHINGTON (CNN) — The incidents that first left then-White House press secretary Scott McClellan "dismayed and disillusioned" about Washington involved the surreptitious release of classified information, McClellan said … Read More

Strong Words

Ken AshfordWar on Terrorism/Torture, White House SecrecyLeave a Comment

In an editorial in today’s New York Times, Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton (the chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the 9/11 commission) outright and openly accuse the CIA and the White House of obstruction: The commission’s mandate was sweeping and it explicitly included the intelligence agencies. But the recent revelations that the C.I.A. destroyed videotaped interrogations of … Read More

Riiiiip

Ken AshfordWhite House SecrecyLeave a Comment

Well, well, well…. Look how much the Bush Administration has spent for paper-shredding over the past few years. Each bar off the vertical axis represents $500,000 dollars. John Cook: In 2000, the feds spent $452,807 to make unpleasant truths go away; by 2006, the "Cheney Effect" had bumped that number up to $2.9 million. And by halfway through 2007, the … Read More

Policy Trumps Facts: Part XXVII

Ken AshfordHealth Care, White House SecrecyLeave a Comment

Yet another example emerges of the Bush Adminstration keeping you in the dark: A surgeon general’s report in 2006 that called on Americans to help tackle global health problems has been kept from the public by a Bush political appointee without any background or expertise in medicine or public health, chiefly because the report did not promote the administration’s policy … Read More

Gonzales: Another Bit Of Perjury Yesterday

Ken AshfordCongress, Crime, White House Secrecy, Wiretapping & SurveillanceLeave a Comment

This centers around a meeting held on March 10, 2004 with members of the Bush Administration and the "Gang of 8", members of Congress who head up intelligence committees.  The topic discussed was —  well, that’s the issue. Here’s what Alberto Gonzales said under oath on Tuesday: At a heated Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, Gonzales repeatedly testified that the … Read More