Archive for March, 2019

Release The Damn Report!

Posted in The Mueller Investigation with tags , , , on March 29, 2019 by playthell

Attorney General William Barr aka Fred Flintstone

The Investigation Is Over…But the Mystery Lingers On

While Donnie and the acolytes do a doophus pootbutt victory shuffle in the end zone, with Dirty Donald repeatedly spiking the ball celebrating his “exoneration” of suspicions that he or his surrogates among campaign workers engaged in a treasonous conspiracy with Russian intelligence agents to fix the presidential election in his favor, and then engaged in nefarious efforts to obstruct justice by trying to hamper the investigation into the matter, it ain’t over yet.

For one thing, neither the Congress, the press, nor the public has seen the actual report produced by Special Prosecutor Robert Muller following the most most massive investigation of a President in American history. As former FBI Director James Comey says, “So many questions” remain unanswered. And they will remain so until Mr. Mueller’s full unabridged report is made public.

At present all we have is a terse summation of what the report says composed by Attorney General William Barr, which does not begin to tell us what inquiring minds with a material interests in the issues at hand need to know. The most obvious question is after a 22 month investigation which issued 500 search warrants, 2, 800 subpoenas, and conducted five hundred witness interviews, how could Barr reduce this to a four page letter of explanation composed 48 hours after its release? The next most compelling question that begs a deeper look is how did Barr arrive at the conclusion that Devious Donald was not culpable of obstructing justice.

In his brief letter summarizing the “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.” Barr tells us “Although my review is ongoing, I believe that it is in the public interest to describe the report and to summarize the principal conclusions reached by the Special Counsel and the results of his investigation.” The Attorney General then gives an accounting of the size of Special Counsel Mueller’s team, telling us he “employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff.”

Yet, despite this sweeping investigation Barr tells us that Mueller wrote in his summation, “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” The fact that it took Barr only 48 hours to resolve a question that Mueller was unable to resolve after 22 months, compels the thoughtful observer to wonder if this is a case of charlatans rushing in where angels fear to tread.

Like this writer, Fortune magazine, a journalistic pillar of the establishment, also remains unconvinced and raises 16 questions that demand answers before the Trump/Russia mess can be fianally put to rest. They are wide ranging questions that go to the heart of the matter, such as: Why did Mueller let Trump submit written answers to his questions instead of insisting that he be interrogated face to face? And how was it possible to arrive at a decision about obstruction of justice without personally interviewing the President? Whom did Mueller interview? How wide ranging was the scope of his investigation? What was Mueller’s standard of proof? What about the infamous Trump tower Meeting with Russians offering dirt on Hillary? Did he attempt to determine to what extent Russian interference swayed the election in Trump’s favor?

Obviously the scope these questions are beyond the boundary of this commentary. However it is of critical importance to find out if Mr. Mueller’s report addresses the question of why Trump never specifically tasked the FBI with developing an assessment of what effect Russian interventions had on the outcome of the presidential election, and whether he ordered them to develop a plan to counter Russian efforts to interfere in future elections.  Everything I have heard suggest that the intelligence community has received no orders to undertake this task which is so critical to the survival our democracy.

Added to these probing questions I would like to also ask why we should trust Barr’s judgment on obstruction of Justice? Everybody who cares to know is aware of the fact that Devious Donnie appointed him because of a 17 page legal opinion he authored in June 2018 and voluntarily submitted to the Department of Justice, in which he argued that Mueller’s investigation of Trump for obstruction of justice was “fatally conceived” and made an argument that was simpatico with the arguments of Trump’s lawyers that a president cannot be investigated for actions that the constitution permits him to take such as firing a subordinate who works at his pleasure, like the Attorney General. Based on this opinion it is very nearly impossible for a sitting president to commit obstruction of justice in this case. And many observers who are learned in the law believe that’s precisely why Trump appointed him….and why Barr should have recused himself.

Barr’s view of presidential powers so alarmed Neil Kinkopft, Professor of Law at Georgia State University, he wrote a critical treatise on Barr’s views. Titled The Bar Memo and the Imperial Presidency, Professor Kinkoptf warned that under Barr’s expansive view of presidential powers “(1) Trump can take over, manipulate, or terminate the investigation, and (2) don’t hold your breath waiting to see a Mueller report).” To emphasize just how radical and dangerous Barr’s views are he selects “the memo’s most jaw-dropping passage:  “Constitutionally, it is wrong to conceive of the President as simply the highest officer within the Executive branch hierarchy. He alone is the Executive branch.”

Professor Kinkopft goes on to tell us, “The conception of presidential power embraced in the Barr Memo goes well beyond the ordinary unitary executive claims.” This is both enlightening and frightening because we are witnessing Barr’s theory of presidential power being played out before our eyes, as he exonerates Trump for Obstruction of Justice, and has thus far has not released the original Mueller Report, but is futzing around with it so that it reflects his views on the law. This is unacceptable!

Hence, until we are provided an opportunity to review the entire unedited report from the Mueller investigation, and find the answers to these and myriad other pressing questions therein, this matter is not finished, the case remains open. But alas, even it Trump should prove innocent of all charges in the Russian affair, it still does not explain his curious behavior toward the Russians. For instance, his decision to take the word of Vladimir Putin, a former KGB intelligence officer, over all of his own intelligence agencies who were unanimously agreed that the Russians had interfered in our presidential election – a fact which is now incontestable – and then announce that decision on the world stage at Helsinki.

Nor does innocence in the Russian affair magically make Trump fit to be president of the United States. For he remains the same lying, boorish, ignorant, vulgar, shameless unreconstructed charlatan and bullshit artist he was before the investigation began. Don the Con has debased the language of presidential discourse; trashed the morals and manners the world expects of the president of the United States; repeatedly assaulted the First Amendment which he swore to uphold. by branding our free press an “enemy of the people!” Devious Donald has lied so promiscuously and prolifically – 7,000 and counting according to fact checkers at the Washington Post and Toronto Star – that his presidency has been branded:”The Post Truth Era.” And his lies are most dangerous when he is freewheeling on the stump. The perfect demagogue, his rhetoric is often so reckless it threatens to provoke internecine violence across the nation!

Alas, Trump remains a man whose character is innocent of honor and devoid of empathy; so much so that House speaker Nancy Pelosi has said nothing “associated with manhood” could apply to him. That’s why he can so easily scorn the military service of Senator John McCain, when he is a cowardly draft dodger. Some people refused to serve because they were principally opposed to the war. But Trump was a chicken hawk who was for the war so long as he was not called forth to fight it. His crooked daddy even bribed a doctor in order to get a phony diagnosis of bone spurs to keep punky Donald out of the draft. Trump’s cheap shot attacks on McCain outraged Bob Kerry, a highly decorated Vietnam Veteran, who challenged Trump to “show us your bone spurs!” Kerry says it is obvious that Devious Donald looks at all those who served in Vietnam as “suckers” because their arents didn’t have the means to get them out! A thoughtless motor mouth, Trump’s snide remarks about McCain has raised the question as to whether he lied to escape conscription, and I predict the call to show the x-rays of his bone spurs will grow louder.

By any objective measure one would stand a far better chance of making a silk purse from a sow’s ear than manufacturing a fitting president from Dirty Donald. He is a man totally devoid of any moral sense, or even any notion of fair play. That’s why he has the unmitigated gall to demand an apology from those who investigated him when it is he who should apologize to others. First he should apologize to Bob Mueller – a decorated marine veteran and life long public servant – for having impugned his motives, traduced his honor, and labeled his investigation a “treasonous” ploy of the “Deep State” – a malignant fiction conjured in the paranoid fantasies of the lunatic right.

When Mr. Mueller’s conclusions broke in his favor however, the Special Counsel suddenly became “an honorable man!” Yet Devious Donald has offered no apology for the months of vicious slander of the man, and his mission. He has also offered no apology to former President Obama for conducting a protracted campaign of racist smears and lies against him in an attempt to de-legitimize his presidency, and DD continues to call his presidential opponent “crooked Hillary” despite the fact that after extensive investigations by Republicans – which she withstood with far more grace and decorum than him – Hillary has never been indicted, let alone found guilty, of anything! Such behavior provides irrefutable evidence that Trump is a man with the morals of a pathological blaggard and has a hole in his soul. Hence James Comey is right on when he concludes: “Trump is Morally unfit to be president.’

Of one thing I am certain; If there is a just God presiding over the universe, and Dr. King was right when he declared “The arc of the universe is wide but it bends toward justice,” then somewhere out there in the 16 ongoing investigations into the affairs of that mobbed up Big Apple bunko artist who bamboolzed the bigoted boobs in the boonies and accidentally became President, Dastardly Don will get his just deserts. He shall be cast in the pit of miseries where he will dwell in an orange jump suit to match his complexion for the rest of his days. Otherwise there is no justice in this world, God is dead, or at best she has lost the battle for the souls of man to the Devil!

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
March 28, 2019

Trump’s Tweets are Toxic!

Posted in On Donald Trump, On Foreign Affairs with tags , , on March 29, 2019 by playthell
Mourners Outside the New Zealand Mosque

President’s Rhetoric Unleashes Dogs of Chaos Globally

In response to the last horrendous mass shooting, which occurred in Christ Church New Zealand, where 50 innocent souls were slaughtered in their Mosque by yet another white supremacist fanatic while offering up prayers to God, Christian Picciolini, a former star in the US “White Nationalist” movement during the 1970’s and 80’s observed: “For the first time in modern history our president’s words are actually causing people to murder each other.”

Trump does have a historical precedent however.  Andrew Jackson, Trump’s favorite president, ordered genocide against Native American “Indians” creating the infamous “Trail of Tears.” Mr. Picciolini knows the awesome power of hate speech first hand. He tells us how hate filled lyrics he wrote 30 years previously ended up inspiring Dylan Roof, the murderous young white whacko who murdered nine Afro-American worshipers in their church; slaughtered them like hogs after they extended the hand of brotherhood to him and invited him to join their prayer circle.

Picciolini painfully recalled this incident in order to point out that things President Trump says not only resonate with white nationalist around the world, but will affect young people who are growing up in the toxic environment that Dirty Donald has created for many years to come. Trump has normalized far right rhetoric that used to be confined to the far edges of the US political spectrum; hence words and ideas that were believed outrageous or unacceptable have become common fare.

This shift of the Oval Office from a place of relative sanity to a political loony bin started with the installment of the far right-wing activist and conspiracy theorist, Steve Bannon, in the white House as a senior political strategist. Fortunately for the American nation and the world their relationship feel apart after people began to refer to Bannon as “Trump’s Brain.” This was too much for a megalomaniacal churl like Trump to bear, so he christened Bannon “Sloppy Steve” and banished him.

Nevertheless, Dirty Donald has remained the hero of the far right at home and abroad, whether it is government leaders or fascist white nationalists. It is no accident that Trump has been praised by home made white supremacist activists David Duke, Nigel Farrage in Britian and now the New Zealand mass murderer. Although Trump’s flack catchers in the Republican Party vehemently deny and connection between their man in Washington and the shooter on the other side of the world, the facts tell a different tale. And facts are stubborn things that will not be denied. First of all, this is not the first murderous right-wing fanatic inspired by Trump, he is just the most competent at his grisly business.

Mass Murder in the Mosque

Super Trumpanzee Caesar Sayok aka “The MAGA Bomber,” so named because he was fond of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” caps, mailed pipe bombs to key members of both houses of Congress and the press. It does not take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that the bombers hit list corresponded precisely to Trump’s enemies list. Since it is a safe assumption that Trump did not provide Caesar his list, he constructed the list of intended victims from listening to Trump’s hostile rhetoric directed at these people and assumed he was doing Doing Dirty a solid. For had he succeeded “The Donald’s” most vocal and fearless critics would have been silenced. Yet, despite the fact pattern regarding the MAGA bombers motivation, the Republican flak catchers assumed their routine lips to posterior posture with Dirty Donnie and quickly denied any connection between Trump’s verbal arson and the mad bomber!

The atmosphere Trump has brought to the Oval office has undoubtedly given license to a gaggle of ordinary white dopes, who are seeking salvation by a Great White Leader. And these people, “Silly Sally and Simple Simon,” think they have found this Mighty Whitey in Devious Donnie. Like the followers of Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini in the 20th century, the Trumpanees are true believers. And some of these star struck acolytes would commit murder and mayhem if they believed that’s what their savior desired. The Naval Reserve Officer was about to carry out an operation targeting prominent Democrats and journalists who oppose Trump for assassination, but luckily the FBI arrested him before he could strike. Had these guys been more efficient there would be some very important Americans taken off the scene.

Even when Trump is not mentioned, the effects of his rancid rhetoric are evident in the dastardly deeds of his admirers in the white supremacy movement. Just look at the massive march of torch bearing Neo-Nazi’s in Charlottesville Virginia. Chanting “Blood and Soil” a concept fundamental to the Nazi argument that Jews were not real Germans, they transitioned to “Jews will not replace us!” This was some for real Nazi shit, and considering they were marching in support of a Confederate hero, the demonstration highlights the similarity between the beliefs of the Confederacy and Nazi Germany.

This Neo-Nazi uprising resulted in injury and even death to those who peacefully opposed them, but the President could not bring himself to unequivocally denounce them, while denouncing violence in general he observed that there were also “some fine people” among the torch bearers. When we consider the fact that Trump was endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan, and it’s former leader David Duke, a Neo-Nazi ideologue whose intense hatred of Jews inspired him to earn a PhD in Jewish Studies to better defame them, we know that the White Supremacist movement considers Trump their true leader.

While I respect New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s choice not to mention the shooter’s name because we will become complicit in assuring him the publicity he seeks in perpetrating his horrendous act, as a reporter I am conflicted about it because I believe his name should go down in infamy for all times. However more important than the killer’s name is the fact that the mass mosque murderer mentions Donald Trump’s name as an inspirational figure, a personal hero of whom he calls “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” Although he claims to have policy differences with Trump, which he doesn’t spell out but we can surmise based on his actions – and his 74 page tirade will likely offer further clarity when it is available for study – he would like to see Muslims and Jews in gas chambers. A fate he would probably also wish to befall all non-white people.

Although Trump issued a general statement condemning the mass slaughter, he dose not reach out to the beleaguered Muslim community, specifically reject the ideology of white Supremacy, nor make any attempt to disassociate himself from the global white nationalist movement. Since it is abundantly clear that he is viewed as the de-facto leader of this movement by many of its activists, this was the perfect opportunity for Dirty Donald to disassociate himself from them; to clarify his views and denounce theirs. But he chose to do neither. So what are we to surmise about Trump’s true beliefs on white nationalism?

When Congresswoman Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, criticized the treatment of Palestinians and pointed out that the Congress was silent on these atrocities because of the financial power of the American Israel Political Action Committee, “AIPAC, Trump was quick to denounce her as an “anti-Semite,” something he has refused to do with the real anti-Semites in the White Nationalist Movement, even the torch bearing Neo-Nazis in Virginia. But when Judge Janine Pirro, and outspoken Islamphobe, viciously attacked Omar because she is a Muslim woman that voluntarily wears a Hejab, saying she should be denied her seat in Congress, Trump rushed to her defense when Fox News suspended her in response to the outcry! There is no shame in the White Nationalist’s game.

Yet, beyond Trump’s providing inspiration for murderous white racists, there is abundant reason to believe that Donald Trump’s open hostility to our constitutionally mandated free press provided license to the Saudi government headed by Prince Salman, to murder the Washington Post columnist Jamal Kahshoggi in their Trukish Embassy. When we consider the fact that Saudi Arabia is an American client state, that would be little more than another oil rich Arab desert shiekdom with out the backing of the USA, one does not have to be a great strategic thinker to conclude the prince wouldn’t have done it he thought it wasn’t cool the president. After all, the prince had heard the president call the US press “the enemy of the people” ad nauseum.

These are only a partial listing of the toxic effects of the tweeting troll in the White house, but it is more than enough to assess it’s murderous results. Alas, the news that the Mueller investigation has absolved Trump of the suspicion of treason has given his presidency a big boost, and grand bullshit artist artist that he is Devious Donnie is certain to make the most of it, spinning a web of lies about his victimization by agents of the “Deep State” who are out to get him. And although it is obvious if that were true he would not have been exonerated by the investigation, it makes no difference in Trump’s narrative of events.

Although these are poignant symptoms of his mental illness – Malignant Narcissism and Paranoia – the refusal by the press to consistently point this sickness to explain much of Trump’s behavior before, will render them suspect and ineffective should they try it now. Hence from all appearances, we are stuck with this toxic wanna-be tyrant – who threatened that if Mueller’s report had been unfavorable to him the military, police and Bikers would come to his rescue – for the foreseeable future. But, since there are 16 other investigations underway…one never knows…do one.

 

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
March 25, 2019

Remembering the Heroes of Bloody Sunday

Posted in Bloody Sunday: A Remembrance, Playthell on politics, You Tube Classics with tags , , on March 4, 2019 by playthell
Congressman John Lewis Viciously Beaten as SNCC Leader
A Pivotal Event in the Struggle Against White Supremacy in America

On March 7, 1965, 54 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, John Lewis of SNCC – now a venerable Democratic Congressman – and other Civil Rights leaders led a March from Selma Alabama to the state capitol of Montgomery to protest the horrible system of white supremacy. Although it was a peaceful march based on the philosophy of “passive resistance, the marchers were viciously attacked by violent white racist!

However the violence of the crazed rednecks back fired because the entire episode was captured on film by the Television networks and broadcast around the world. This was a seminal even in the history of the struggle to dismantle the evil oppressive system of racial caste oppression in the US because it exposed the truth about the bogus claim that America is “the home of the brave and land of the free” where “All men are created equal.”

This was no picayune matter, because the US was locked in an intense ideological struggle with the powerful Soviet Union of Russia to recruit the hundreds of millions of people in the Third World nations of Africa, Asia, South America and the islands of the seas. Most of these millions were living in African and Asian countries that were just throwing of the oppressive yoke of European colonialism in the aftermath of World War II, when European world order had collapsed due to the cost in blood and treasure extracted by the second great war in a generation.  And the US government’s oppression of it’s on citizen’s of color alienated them from America.

There are studies which show the great anxiety of the US government when US Ambassadors, and other diplomats, were accosted by reporters and citizens around the world. For instance, historian Mary L. Dudziak tells us in her path breaking book Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy: “Within this context, racial discrimination, especially when it was broadcast to international audiences, became problematic to the Cold War effort itself.” Representatives of the American government were barraged with questions about the hypocrisy of US claims to being the bastion of freedom and equality, yet keep millions of their citizens in a state of tyrannical oppression that exceeded ANYTHING the US was self-righteously protesting in the communist world!!!

The US government had no answer for this that was not viewed with ridicule, as the masses of African and Asia increasingly either allied themselves with the Communist camp or adopted a non-aligned position that viewed both sides based on how the supported our struggles.  They had no permanent friends or enemies…just permanent interests!

It was this response of the Third world community that served as a major impetus for the US government to act dramatically to eradicate the racial caste system whether by law or or tradition. This march in Alabama 54 years ago was a pivotal event in ending this evil racist system in the United states; 100 years after the end of the Civil War that abolished Afro-American slavery in Alabama and throughout the American south.  It also ended the dominance of The Southern Christian Leadership Conferences’ vision of the Southern struggle.

On the next march – which attracted a vast and diverse gathering and the US government was forced to protect them from violent attacks by white racist terrorists because the eyes of the world were focused like lasers on the march – Stokely Carmichael and H. “Rap” Brown of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, introduced “Black Power”as the slogan,  for their Black Panther political party in Lowndes County / Selma Alabama, where courageous young college students were mobilizing Afro-American citizens to exercise their right to vote.  The introduction of the concept of Black Power and organizing the Black Panther Party qualitatively changed the course of the black liberation movement in the United States.

Watch NBC’s report on the march and hear critical interviews with Dr. King and others who give in-depth analysis of the struggle against racism at the time. This is a priceless, a living archive of the times, whose sense of immediacy is preserved by the miracle of the moving image with sound. Relive this critical event, and feel the tenor of the times at:

https://www.nbcnews.com/video/bloody-sunday-a-flashback-of-the-landmark-selma-to-montgomery-marches-1191243331868

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Playthell G, Benjamin
February 3, 2019
Harlem, New York