Something was very very wrong, and I didn’t know what it was, but I could feel it all around me

Robert Mueller: Dishonest, deceptive and diabolical. Patricia McCarthy – “Once all the facts are revealed, it is likely that he will be permanently tainted by his deceptive machinations for personal or political reasons many times over the course of his career in law. The same goes for James Comey.”

“It will be interesting to see if any of the plotters has a sense of decency and expresses profound regret for his part in this obscene project. On this Memorial Day weekend, it would be wise for them to remember how this nation survived as long as it has. We owe our safety and security to the untold thousands of great men and women who have died to protect and preserve it. These scoundrels, Mueller, Comey, Brennan, Clapper, and the rest of them, have dishonored their service and sacrifice.

Declassification and Cognitive Dissonance in the Media. David Catron – “How the media stopped worrying and learned to love the CIA.”

“The Times has executed a particularly dizzying pirouette. The editors of the newspaper that published the Pentagon Papers — and countless subsequent stories containing illegally leaked government secrets — have evidently had a road to Damascus experience with regard to the necessity of protecting classified information. In an article titled, “Potential Clash Over Secrets Looms Between Justice Dept. and C.I.A,” Julian E. Barnes and David E. Sanger admit that “the ultimate power to declassify documents rests with the president.” Yet they worry that Trump’s order will (heaven forefend) render the CIA impotent in bureaucratic territorial disputes

At the Washington Post, meanwhile, Jeff Bezos’ team of seasoned editors and crack reporters has apparently concluded that democracy thrives in darkness.

Consequently, the media must report the “news” in a way that requires them to claim two contradictory “facts” are both true: The President and AG Barr are engaged in a cover-up but are also involved in a nefarious plot to declassify and release as much information as possible.

As Barr mulls declassification, a familiar tune from critics. Byron York – “Many others echoed Brennan’s and Schiff’s and Holder’s sentiments. The problem is, they were wrong then, and they are likely wrong again now.

“Indeed, after the release of the Nunes memo, there was little discussion of any specific damage it had done to U.S. national security.

Now, there is another fight about declassification. Nunes himself has heard this all before. “Every time we have tried to get information on the Russia hoax, the Left as well as the media and their leakers claimed it would devastate national security,” Nunes said in a text exchange. “Now we hear the same argument from the same reporters, leakers, and leftists, even though all their previous doomsday warnings proved false. These people simply use national security as a false justification to hide information that would reveal their abuses.”

Nunes summed up with one more line: “Democracy dies in darkness.”

Now, if anything might endanger such a source, it would be exposure in the New York Times. But the story showed that the intelligence world will push back hard against this new effort to investigate its record. The fight could be messy. But Barr, like Devin Nunes, has heard such threats before. It’s time to find out what the CIA, FBI, and other agencies did in those difficult days of the 2016 campaign.

Tears of the Times. Scott Johnson – “Barnes and Sanger somehow overlooked the many cases in which the Times itself stripped the CIA of “its most critical power,” and did so without the color of law.

One doesn’t have to call up the ancient history of the Times’s unauthorized disclosure of the highly classified anti-terror programs I discussed in the 2006 Weekly Standard column “Exposure” or in related Power Line posts such as “When Bush begged the Times.” More recently, with a little help from “current and former intelligence officials,” the Times’s Matthew Rosenberg and Adam Goldman called out Michael D’Andrea, the CIA officer newly appointed to run the agency’s Iran operations.

One begins to suspect that the tears of Barnes and Sanger over the stripping of the CIA’s “most critical power” by the president are of the variety known as crocodile. For a definitive takedown of the Times on this score, see Eric Felten’s Weekly Standard column “Why Is the NYT Suddenly Opposed to Declassifying the FISA Docs?” Barnes and Sanger’s current story gives us another example of history repeating itself.

Did It Start With Israel? John Hinderaker – “This is really extraordinary. Power was not an intelligence official, she was the U.N. Ambassador. Why was she unmasking anyone, let alone making hundreds of such requests? And why would she keep up this feverish pace right up to the moment she departed the White House?”

“The context was U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, which stated that Israel’s settlements on the West Bank are a “flagrant violation” of international law with “no legal validity.” The incoming Trump administration was urging the Obama administration to veto the resolution. In addition, at appears that members of Trump’s team were lobbying allies to defer the vote, or to vote against the resolution. It sounds as though the Obama administration was lobbying allies in the other direction, trying to undermine the policy of the new administration, although this isn’t entirely clear.

These reports raise several obvious questions. First, why were Obama administration officials so concerned with the U.N. vote as to unmask communications of U.S. citizens on 300 occasions? The Obama administration didn’t come out in favor of the resolution, and it abstained when the resolution came up for a vote. So why would it be so concerned about the possibility that incoming Trump officials might convince allies to defer the vote, or block it altogether?

I can’t think of any reason other than the obsessive hatred of Israel that is so common on the Left. But it is bizarre, in my view, for lame duck Obama minions to carry out a vendetta against Israel, one that apparently was given high priority, through their last days in power. Maybe I am missing something here, but I can’t think what it could be.

I don’t begin to understand how these pieces fit together. We can only hope that as Attorney General Barr pursues his investigation, the true story will come out.

Liberal media attack Constitution and democratic institutions. Dan Gainor – “The people who most want to undermine the United States are on the left – and the liberal news media are helping them. Liberals are attacking our Constitution, Supreme Court, bicameral legislature and our very electoral system.

“It’s understandable that both political parties try to work government to their advantage. This is different. It’s a concerted effort to manipulate key parts of our government so the left wins. It’s not just a few statues drawing protests, or Democratic candidates bashing Thomas Jefferson. The entire American experiment is at risk.

These threats aren’t theoretical. Many are being openly discussed by Democratic presidential candidates and pushed by the liberal media. They are part of a winner-take-all attitude to democracy. Americans better wake up to the real threats to our republic before it is too late.

Massive Victory for Conservative Nationalists in European Elections… sundance – “Polls are all closed. Election results are beginning to come in fast. The overall result in the European (EU) Parliamentary Election reflects massive gains for conservative nationalists in Italy, Greece, France, Poland, Hungary, Austria, U.K. and others…”

“Brussels consensus” suffers setback in EU elections. Paul Mirengoff – “Together, the center-right and center-left parties look like controlling about 43 percent of the parliamentary seats. That’s down considerably from their current share of 53 percent.

“As I argued here, because the European Parliament has been a “sign off” body — one in which the center-right and center-left parties consent to pretty much whatever the EU leaders and their bureaucrats want — the big question in this election wasn’t how the the center-right and the center-left parties would fare in competition between the two. Rather, the big question was whether the center-right and center-left parties would, together, win enough seats to keep signing off on the EU agenda — “the Brussels consensus” as it is called.

They did not. To keep rubber stamping the Brussels consensus, the big center-right and center-left parties will need help.

How marijuana legalization affected the outlaw growers of Humboldt County. neo – “At the age of nineteen he already knew a lot of dead people, and this was a long long long time ago.

“Something was very very wrong, and I didn’t know what it was, but I could feel it all around me. It wasn’t simply the economy; the town was located in proximity to a factory that was still bustling at the time and employed a lot of local people. No, it was something more difficult to define: a general aimlessness, a cultural anomie that even I, as a visitor, could sense.

Let’s Call the Russian Collusion ‘Hoax’ What it Really Is. Roger Kimball – “George Orwell made a kindred observation about the importance of having the courage to call things by their real names. Euphemism, the counterfeit of good manners, is the enemy of truth, which is the only ally worth having.

“I myself have deployed the term “hoax” to describe what happened to Donald Trump and his colleagues—and to the American people—during and after the 2016 presidential campaign. But a couple of friends have pointed out how inadequate the term “hoax” is for what just happened and—to at least some extent—is still happening in the machinery of our government.

But thinking about it, I conclude that the term “hoax” is wholly inadequate to describe the enormity of the political scandal that was perpetrated against Donald Trump, against the office of the president, and ultimately against the American people.

One of the remarkable things about this story is how many people it has involved and how long it has taken to get a full headcount of the anti-Trump team.

Barr’s arrival on the scene has made me rethink my resignation. But whatever happens to those individuals, it now seems clear that Barr’s investigation will reveal for all to see that what began in 2016 or even 2015 and continued until and beyond the day that Robert Mueller deposited his nearly 500-page report clearing the president of “collusion” was not a hoax at all. It was an attempted coup.

We should face up to that unpleasant fact and call things by their real names. The actions taken by the Obama Administration threatened not just Donald Trump and his presidency but the very processes and protocols by which the peaceful transition of power has been effected in the United States. As L.J. Keith observed, “Even in the most contentious elections and after disputed results, there was never been this sort of dangerous, systematic, deliberate rejection of the will of the people. The abrogation of the constitution to use extrajudicial methods to destroy the incoming president. It is the very definition of a coup.”

Something was very very wrong, and I didn’t know what it was, but I could feel it all around me” — maybe we will find out what is ‘very very wrong’ to be able to do something about it.

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