Author Topic: Ukraine  (Read 38261 times)

ScottF

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #100 on: September 26, 2019, 01:01:13 PM »
Here's Schiff's original "parody", strangely looking like he's reading from a transcript and/or quoting actual conversation. If there's one way to make Trump look like the lesser scumbag in the Battle of the Scumbags, he's nailing it.

https://twitter.com/tomselliott/status/1177211952344510465

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #101 on: September 26, 2019, 01:07:00 PM »
Also that isn't the 'bombshell' what is the bombshell is that he extorted a foreign nation to get dirt on an opponent (which is obvious even from the memorandum).  It is a clear criminal act. The hiding of the transcript is only further evidence that they knew it was a criminal act.

You're a reasonable guy and I often agree with the tenor of things you post. So I'll ask you to explain to me in detail (if you don't mind) what exactly you think the extortion consists of, why it's a criminal act, and why this potential dirt on an opponent is an illegitimate thing to seek if it's about criminal activity. I'm not being flip, and I'm asking because I trust you not to prevaricate or gloss over details. I guess for bonus points, how do you know there's a transcript beyond the 'memorandum' that was released (which is written in a style consistent with Trump's verbal parlance)?

So the points:
-What is the actual extortion: what is being held over Ukraine's head, and what are the supposed conequences of failure to comply? What interest is there for Trump to extort in this way?
-If it is extortion, is it in fact illegal for the President to leverage pressure against another country in this way? Can the President in fact follow through on this kind of extortion, and if he can, is he allowed to?
-Is getting dirt on a political opponent illegal, even via asking a foreign power for help, if the opponent may have committed a crime? If it is illegal, would this mean some of the actions taken to get dirt on Trump previously were illegal, since they involved foreign sources and spies?
-Are there definitely transcripts of conversations like this, that are different in content from the conversation as it was relearsed to us here? i.e. is there obvious precedent to show that this 'transcript' is in fact not a real transcript but just a memorandum as you say?

Thanks for any time you take answering.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #102 on: September 26, 2019, 01:10:05 PM »
If dems had been content to let the american public watch Trump crap the bed with his own actual bad antics, they would have had a real chance. Now, not so much.

Don't worry, they'll still waste more energy trying to suppress Bernie and prop up Biden than they will getting anyone to trust the process. By the time the general comes along, and Bernie grudgingly sighs "I guess you'd all better vote Democrat anyhow" it will be too late for them.

ScottF

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #103 on: September 26, 2019, 01:27:03 PM »
-What is the actual extortion: what is being held over Ukraine's head, and what are the supposed conequences of failure to comply?

I won't speak for anyone else, but in my opinion you'd have to back it up with something serious like threatening to hold back aid and/or calling for the firing of prominent people in the Ukraine. Plus, it would need to be more than parody or mind-reading, you'd need to be on record with it - like a video or something.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2019, 01:31:00 PM by ScottF »

Grant

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #104 on: September 26, 2019, 01:55:52 PM »
Grant thinks it was a 'business call' and that the brief mentions of each of these items (Javelin missiles, favors, etc) were very swift negotiation points and that their sequence basically amounts to an almost adept-level negotiation process where terms are being laid down.

::Yawn::

This is untrue.  I questioned "if this is just a business call?", etc.

I characterized a portion of the transcript as Ukraine begging for arms.  (More porridge please?).  Serati challenged this characterization, saying most people would see it as a simple business offer, that of course did not require Trump to respond to, hence there was nothing wrong with his immediate cutting to the "I need a favor" portion of the call.  I assert that this is strange.  Serati asserts that it is not strange.  I said:

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But if this was just a business deal, why the change of subject?

I simple reading will reveal that I'm challenging that the call was a simple business call.  The call not only contained a great deal of ass-kissing, but included a request for help from Ukraine and a request for investigations from Trump.   

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #105 on: September 26, 2019, 02:00:03 PM »
Grant, I didn't mean to put words in your mouth if that wasn't what you meant. However the tenor of your argument was that Trump's switch of topic to favors may be seen as some as playing upon Ukraine's "begging" by asking for something in return, since on a business call you'd only switch topics if it wasn't actually a switch but was on-topic (i.e. the favors were on topic with the topic of missiles). I know you weren't implying this means Trump is guilty, but you did repeatedly frame the conversation as being a business call, without also throwing in the detail that you in fact did not think it was a business call. That little detail changes the framing of your statement significantly. Thanks for the clarification, I guess.

Grant

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #106 on: September 26, 2019, 02:00:39 PM »

All that to say that if you replace the first word of your sentence with "When", I agree with you 100%.

Consider it changed.  That probably better reflects what is going on. 

Grant

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #107 on: September 26, 2019, 02:10:33 PM »
However the tenor of your argument was that Trump's switch of topic to favors may be seen as some as playing upon Ukraine's "begging" by asking for something in return,

That's accurate. 

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on a business call you'd only switch topics if it wasn't actually a switch but was on-topic (i.e. the favors were on topic with the topic of missiles).

Look.  Even I'm getting confused.  What I'm saying is that it was not a change of topic.  The asking of a favor was directly related to the request for arms.  Others are saying the two topics are unrelated.  I can't PROVE that the two topics are related, because you cannot PROVE exactly what Trump was thinking or what he meant.  There was no explicit demand for quid pro quo.  I'm saying it's weird.  It's fishy.  It's strange.  Serati is saying it's perfectly normal.  This is what Serati said:

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Most people would see that as a big offer by Ukraine to send a lot of money to the US, not a begging to be allowed to purchase them idea.  In fact, the way I read that (and a couple other places in the convo) is that Trump was probably going down a list of topics and checking them off as he covered each.  That literally looked like the end of that point and the start of new.  I don't see anything that would even remotely imply that Trump was turning down a lucrative arms deal "unless" the Ukraine did a second favor, is that what you think you see?

So Serati says it's normal.  I'm saying it's not normal to just change the subject.  Hence, Trump really wasn't changing the subject.  Trump was possibly tying the two together.  "You want missiles?  I want this investigation."

Again, I have no proof.  But I've laid out why I think what I think.  It's all right there.  You either agree with me that it's not normal to change the subject like that, hence the two items were linked, or you do think it was normal to change the subject, and that the two items were in no way linked. 

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but you did repeatedly frame the conversation as being a business call, without also throwing in the detail that you in fact did not think it was a business call. That little detail changes the framing of your statement significantly. Thanks for the clarification, I guess.

Thank you.  Now I'm thoroughly confused. 

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #108 on: September 26, 2019, 02:14:00 PM »
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on a business call you'd only switch topics if it wasn't actually a switch but was on-topic (i.e. the favors were on topic with the topic of missiles).

Look.  Even I'm getting confused.  What I'm saying is that it was not a change of topic.  The asking of a favor was directly related to the request for arms.

Yes, that's what I'm saying you said. You're not confused  :)

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #109 on: September 26, 2019, 02:26:14 PM »
Here's Schiff's original "parody", strangely looking like he's reading from a transcript and/or quoting actual conversation. If there's one way to make Trump look like the lesser scumbag in the Battle of the Scumbags, he's nailing it.

https://twitter.com/tomselliott/status/1177211952344510465

There is growing suspicion that Schiff is actually the one that orchestrated the complaint. People familiar with this process are noticing some incongruities in the way it’s written and structured.  Also, Schiff was demanding to see the complaint all this time yet weeks ago was tweeting out details found in the complaint - in other words, he was already familiar with the contents of the complaint a few weeks ago. How would that happen? It could only happen if Schiff had access to the complaint. Something that should raise some issues.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2019, 02:36:25 PM by Crunch »

Grant

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #110 on: September 26, 2019, 02:36:43 PM »
I just read the whistle blower complaint.  If you didn't believe in  a deep state before, that document should remove all doubt.   

 ::) 
Cumon, man.  Why's it always have to be a conspiracy?  It's either a media conspiracy, or a deep state conspiracy, or a NATO conspiracy, or a G20 conspiracy, or an Illuminati conspiracy, or a CIA conspiracy, or an Israeli conspiracy, or a Saudi conspiracy, or a Republican conspiracy.  I don't even know what "deep state" means, other than it's used like there is some deep conspiracy within the US government to hurt Trump.  Some nefarious group of a government within a government.  "The Swamp".  A boogie-man.  Majestic 12.  Men in Black.  Whatever. 

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It was clearly compiled with the help of activist lawyers

If it was clearly complied by activist lawyers, what is the proof of that?  That it was well written?  I think you're reaching again, Serati.  I don't think that is clear at all.  I think I could have written a letter that good.  I think all I would have had to have been to write that is be an experienced mid-level intel wonk or a semi-decent lawyer working within the intel apparatus.  In fact, I would point out that fact that no where does the whistle-blower specify which part of the CFR or USC that the POTUS violated as proof that it was not complied by a group of activist lawyers, unless they were incompetent or didn't care about the content.  The only reference to the USC in the memo is a reference to the procedures governing whistle-blowing within the intel community.  Hence, they showed what THEY were doing was LEGAL, not what they were reporting was ILLEGAL.  That's a pretty big hole, in my opinion, that a group of lawyers would not have missed. 

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purports to be unclassified (notwithstanding that it reveals information that is presumptively classified)

It clearly states that without the enclosures, the whistle-blower believes the memo itself is unclassified.  If it did contain classified information, the IG shouldn't have released it. 

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and was absolutely and clearly compiled using the resources of the US government, at a minimum by inappropriate access to State department files, but more likely intelligence files.

The question of access depends on the level of clearance the whistle-blower had.  I don't know who they are.  Do you, Serati?

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There's no way a single whistleblower put that together, which almost certainly means there is in fact a conspiracy operating internally to the government.

Based on what? They clearly state that they were told these things by other members of the intel community or White House staff.  And even if there were a conspiracy, does it change the content of the memo and concerns expressed within?  If the "Deep State" were responsible for the memo, would it change the validity of their claims? 

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In fact reading it again, this document seems designed to try and criminalize the investigation of what appears to have been a deep state plot to use the Ukranian government to influence the 2016 election.

More conspiracies.  Who was behind this "deep state plot"?  Is this a Q Anon thing?  That's what it sounds like. 




TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #111 on: September 26, 2019, 02:51:55 PM »
It is absolutely weird to:

A. Bring the matter up at his level.
B. Handle the material differently than similar calls.
C. Have this discussion immediately after an election.
D. Have this discussion before a Prosecutor General is chosen.

Does weird mean illegal or nefarious? No, it doesn't. It just means weird.

Let's look at the defintion: of strange or extraordinary character

It is a little hard to deny that Trump is of strange or extraordinary character in a number of ways. That it manifests in his dealings with foreign leaders is no surprise. The purpose of an investigation is to investigate if this was Trump being Trump, or if there was a deliberate effort to cover up Trump being Trump because it was embarrassing, unethical, or illegal. Thus, the whistleblower raised the issue using the proper channels and was allegedly ignored and buried away from the sunlight.

ScottF

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #112 on: September 26, 2019, 02:55:33 PM »
Thank goodness this whistleblower had the courage to finally call Trump to task on this one. I'm tired of him continually getting a free ride from the media and everyone else.

Grant

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #113 on: September 26, 2019, 02:57:47 PM »
The purpose of an investigation is to investigate if this was Trump being Trump, or if there was a deliberate effort to cover up Trump being Trump because it was embarrassing, unethical, or illegal. Thus, the whistleblower raised the issue using the proper channels and was allegedly ignored and buried away from the sunlight.

The IG investigation may cover this, but Impeachment Proceedings and investigation must concentrate on whether any actions by POTUS was unethical or illegal. 

Grant

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #114 on: September 26, 2019, 03:18:05 PM »
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on a business call you'd only switch topics if it wasn't actually a switch but was on-topic (i.e. the favors were on topic with the topic of missiles).

Look.  Even I'm getting confused.  What I'm saying is that it was not a change of topic.  The asking of a favor was directly related to the request for arms.

Yes, that's what I'm saying you said. You're not confused  :)

I'm glad that's cleared up. 

Now: 
 
1. Can we clarify whether the mentioning of purchasing Javelin missiles by Zelenskyy was a REQUEST, or a PROMISE? 

2.  Why is NATO trying to encircle Russia?  Who is behind this? 

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #115 on: September 26, 2019, 03:52:52 PM »
1. Can we clarify whether the mentioning of purchasing Javelin missiles by Zelenskyy was a REQUEST, or a PROMISE?

I would be interested if someone has some backlog of talks on this subject with Ukraine, as I either haven't followed it sufficiently or else such things are not reported on in such a way as someone like me could see them without too much trouble. IMO however the main means of determining this is to look at (a) the U.S. semi-recent history in the Ukraine to determine what their objectives have been, and (b) to look at their general objectives with various countries re: selling arms.

For (a) my suggestion would be that the U.S. has been consistenly trying to wrest the Ukraine area away from Russian influence in various ways, and that a move towards selling to them and arming them would further these goals. A lot of foreign policy PR in the last 5 years (more during Obama's admin than now, though) has been about the Russian threat to Ukraine and how more of a buffer zone is needed to keep Russia at bay. The sabre rattling (which I used to talk about more but not as much lately) is often centered around the Eastern European arena. This battle is also about oil sales and cutting off Russia from customers. For (b) my observation has been that the U.S. will happily sell to anyone not currently threatening their interests, and it would be out of character for the military industrial complex to consider such sales to be doing others a favor. My best guess is that, by observation, armanent sales are what the U.S. tries to get others to do, not something they're lining up for and being refused.

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2.  Why is NATO trying to encircle Russia?  Who is behind this?

Whoaa big question! To discuss this you need to include all of the following topics:

-Global arms sales and how to ensure business is always drummed up.
-Gloabl oil sales and who is competing with whom in the Europe/Asian sphere.
   -Part of this assessment requires a specific look at the Iran/Saudi antagonsim and where the material (not religous)
    conflict lies.
-International banking interests and who is competing for market dominance.
    -This one item is so bad that it alone could derail the entire ability to approach the question.
    -Is it Western bloc (American banks, JP Morgan, Goldman-Sachs, London interests, etc) against the Eastern bloc?
    -Is it IMF vs BRICS?
    -Is it certain factions within each region against other factions within that same region? Or maybe USA vs Europe?
    -Is it a conflict over types of banking systems, e.g. private owned vs state controlled?
-Local necessities by government to create narratives for their own populations.
    -To what extent to exterior events serve as a means to create local narratives, and to what extent is their cooperation
     between nations on using public events for local purposes?
           -Just for example, it is possible in this way to view the Cold War as having been at least partially a cooperative
            event, where the exterior conflict could be used to establish policy with each faction's own people and to justify
            moves that would otherwise not be accepted.
           -Even now it's worth asking how much of sabre rattling is real, vs how much is theatre agreed upon by both sides.
    -To what extent are certain coalitions also a force for narrative creation?

This all would help us to ask a basic question - what is NATO, anyhow? What is it realistically for, and what does it accomplish? Ironically Trump asked these questions although I'm not sure he had a clear thought in his head about it. Maybe he was just repeating something he heard. It does have to be answered before answering why NATO might have certain goals, such as strangling Russia, and not others, such as peaceful relations and cooperation. Maybe the latter are not possible for some reason, but that requires defining its function and goals first.
 
« Last Edit: September 26, 2019, 03:56:26 PM by Fenring »

Grant

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #116 on: September 26, 2019, 04:29:41 PM »
1. Can we clarify whether the mentioning of purchasing Javelin missiles by Zelenskyy was a REQUEST, or a PROMISE?

My best guess is that, by observation, armanent sales are what the U.S. tries to get others to do, not something they're lining up for and being refused.



OK.  So your position is that the United States is generally pushing arms on other countries.  That other countries generally do not request arms from the United States and are generally never refused? 

Two points:
1.  What is your evidence or observation that the United States generally tries to get other countries to buy it's weapons?  What is the evidence or observation that they are generally not lining up for and being refused arms? 

2.  If this is true, that the United States generally tries to push arms on other countries, then why did Donald Trump put a freeze on arms sales to Ukraine?  Why have House Democrats passed legislation freezing arms sales to Saudi Arabia?  Why did we refuse to sell arms to Nigeria in 2014? 

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Whoaa big question! To discuss this you need to include all of the following topics:

OK.  To summarize, the people behind NATO's encirclement of Russia are:

1.  Global arms manufacturers and dealers
2.  Global oil producers
3.  International banking interests
4.  Local governments lying to their people

(also the Cold War was partially a cooperative event, basically a conspiracy between the United States and USSR to better control their spheres of influence)

But you don't really state it as much as pose it as questions.  So you don't want to put an answer, just dance around one. 

So basically, the theory is that Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, BAE, Chevron, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Goldman-Sachs, UBS, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, and the governments of Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Georgia, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan are all conspiring together to effect NATO encirclement of Russia. Theoretically, they have been doing this for awhile. Where, theoretically, do they all meet annually to discuss their plans?  The Hotel de Bilderberg? 

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #117 on: September 26, 2019, 04:40:26 PM »
Grant, I could go point by point on all of that but as you might have guessed I don't have access to any of that. I can name who the probable big players are but only as an educated guess. And I certainly can't even guess what their private affiliations or alliances are. You go ahead and look up the major shareholders in Chase Manhattan and tell me 'which team they're on'. In fact, try to even name for me what the 'teams' might be. You might end up chasing your tail on that one for 20 years before realizing it's deliberately convoluted so that no one can clearly define who is doing what. Try even finding out "who" owns the major shares of Chase Manhattan, literally: I don't mean which other corporations (since in many cases they are shareholders of each other) but the actual people. You won't be able to.

As far as the conspiracy theory angle you're trying to peg on me (by invoking Bilderberg), I suppose your retort is that powerful people do not work together for common interests, and that if they do these are always disclosed to the public clearly and with their designs made known? Please.

But try not to too-narrowly define or summarize things that are complex and large. "The military industrial complex" =/= "the U.S. government", nor do their interests always match, but they often do. Nor does each company in the 'complex' work together just like buddies, but it's no doubt a sort of cooperative competition as it is in banking. Nor do the people who support their interests always have common interests with them; Republicans and Democrats of different stripes can support military lobbyists at the same time, for different reasons, and with different end goals.

Anyhow I won't go on about his any more, other than to say that asking what NATO's goals are is non-trivial, and any attempt to trivialize how international affairs work will only serve to create straw men to knock down.

Grant

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #118 on: September 26, 2019, 04:58:30 PM »
I can name who the probable big players are but only as an educated guess.

Go on.  Give me your educated guess. 

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And I certainly can't even guess what their private affiliations or alliances are. You go ahead and look up the major shareholders in Chase Manhattan and tell me 'which team they're on'. In fact, try to even name for me what the 'teams' might be. You might end up chasing your tail on that one for 20 years before realizing it's deliberately convoluted so that no one can clearly define who is doing what. Try even finding out "who" owns the major shares of Chase Manhattan, literally: I don't mean which other corporations (since in many cases they are shareholders of each other) but the actual people. You won't be able to.

So a shadowy mystery group?  OK. 

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I suppose your retort is that powerful people do not work together for common interests, and that if they do these are always disclosed to the public clearly and with their designs made known? Please.

I don't think two powerful people could work together for a weekend without some sort of written agreement with 100 lawyers around, much less CEOs and Boards of Directors from a dozen companies with the governments of a dozen countries. 

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Anyhow I won't go on about his any more, other than to say that asking what NATO's goals are is non-trivial, and any attempt to trivialize how international affairs work will only serve to create straw men to knock down.

I'm going to suggest that NATO was formed to protect Europe from Soviet aggression.  It morphed into a general mutual defense treaty for all signatories, including against threats outside Russia, which by the way is the general inheritor of the military power of the Soviet Union and has shown some rather interesting expansionist tendencies recently, which I'm sure you will suggest is merely self defense against NATO encirclement. 

I don't mean to trivialize international affairs, only to highlight our different views of them.  Wheras you seem to believe that international affairs are driven by some sort of hustle, or competing business interests, my historical experience is that international affairs are typically driven by people who want to blame other people for their problems, like the French, or the British, or the Americans, or the Saudis, or the Chinese, or globalist financial institutions, or the bourgeois, or the capitalist class, or the Catholics.  But that's probably not who is really behind all this money and business interest. Who's really behind it? 

rightleft22

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #119 on: September 26, 2019, 05:34:03 PM »
Very confused

What I learned that if I'm the president and want do something that crosses a line.
I can do it and get away with it if I can get some one in the news media to make a parody of it, confuse the facts and then use that to explain why it never happened.

I'm not saying that's what's happened here. However its clear to me that going forward holding any President accountable is never going to happen. Just way to easy to confuse things.

It was not unreasonable for the house to want to see the whistle blowers report and the recording of the call. they should have been able to do so behind close doors and before it hit the news.

I can't help but wonder if the administration orchestrated the chain of events to force the Dem's to be forceful in getting the information, making it look more suspicions then it may be and get them to play into the game. It would not surprise me at all.



Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #120 on: September 26, 2019, 07:19:11 PM »
Very confused

What I learned that if I'm the president and want do something that crosses a line.
I can do it and get away with it if I can get some one in the news media to make a parody of it, confuse the facts and then use that to explain why it never happened.

I'm not saying that's what's happened here. However its clear to me that going forward holding any President accountable is never going to happen. Just way to easy to confuse things.
Talking about Fast & Furious?   ;D

It was not unreasonable for the house to want to see the whistle blowers report and the recording of the call. they should have been able to do so behind close doors and before it hit the news.

Then why didn’t they? Despite all evidence to the contrary, they’re not all so stupid. It looks very much like Schiff already knew what was in the report. If Schiff knew, then they all knew. Why did they make this unforced error? Maybe it was intentional.

I can't help but wonder if the administration orchestrated the chain of events to force the Dem's to be forceful in getting the information, making it look more suspicions then it may be and get them to play into the game. It would not surprise me at all.

I can’t help but wonder if the DNC and Pelosi orchestrated this. She gets the impeachment nuts off her back and starts getting back control and the DNC takes out Biden, who’s a sure loser with eye bleeds, teeth falling out, gaffe after gaffe and seemingly unable to recall basic details like people’s names.  And, with a willing media ready to say literally anything,maybe they get lucky and really do get enough traction to takedown Trump or at least damage him for the election.  All achieved with the very same story in a single stroke.

It’s machiavellian as hell to be sure but the story fits the facts and it’s a hell of a lot smarter than what they appear to be doing. Is Pelosi and her gang that smart?
« Last Edit: September 26, 2019, 07:22:35 PM by Crunch »

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #121 on: September 27, 2019, 07:58:05 AM »
And, after all this, house goes into a 2 week recess. Supposed to start this afternoon.

Heh.

rightleft22

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #122 on: September 27, 2019, 09:51:53 AM »
The old where not hiding information, wink wink
ok we were but not really so here it is opp's want it back,
oh well its out now, see nothing burger,
your fault it looked suspicious,
witch hunt.

Grant

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #123 on: September 27, 2019, 10:24:28 AM »
The question going forward seems to be what would be required to find Trump guilty of....whatever (I still don't know if he violated any specific statute, I havn't seen any specific reference, though you don't need a particular statute to impeach and find guilty), in the Senate, if the House votes for impeachment proceedings. 

I think that the House may indeed vote for impeachment.  It's not guaranteed, for several reasons. 
1.  No smoking gun.  (Plenty of smoke, depending on your point of view, of NATO encirclement and the arms industry apparently, but no gun).
2.  Why go through the whole process if the Republican Senate will vote not guilty, which they seem to be telegraphing. 
3.  The democratic candidate for President has a better opportunity to win against Trump than just about any other candidate.  In the world.  Maybe in history.  I imagine Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Nero, Judas Iscariot, and Satan hisself might make worse candidates, but I could be wrong.  Nero is pretty good on border control and protectionism. 

I give 75-80% chance House votes to impeach.

So will the Democrats impeach for political or practical reasons? 

Politically, they could just go through the entire process with the assumption that it will damage Trump's reelection chances.  That's probably their current calculus.  To me, that's basically underhanded, and it tends to backfire on the Democrats.  I think they assumed it would help them in 2018 with Kavanaugh, which they did end up winning, but it also ended up circling conservative wagons. 

What would it take for the Republican Senate to find Trump guilty?  That's a real good question.  Probably a more important question is: what would it take to erode Trump support among registered Republicans?  I currently give a 5-10% chance that, with the current evidence, enough Republican Senators defect to vote with Democrats for guilty. It would basically be a kamikaze move by whatever Republican did it. 

The key witnesses here are Barr and Rudy, who were apparently the point men on the dirt digging expedition.  Rudy has apparently lost it, if you believe The Atlantic.  But unless something is found that clearly stated that Zelenskyy needs to produce for Rudy in order for him to get his military aid, I don't think it will go anywhere.  I give only a 20% chance that the Senate finds further evidence that there was quid pro quo going on.

Even IF you found further evidence, would enough Republican Senators vote guilty?  I imagine it depends on the nature of the evidence, but I'm not sure.  A massive change in registered Republican sentiment would probably have to occur.  Honestly, though, if the Republicans wanted a better shot at holding the Presidency, they may consider this a good opportunity to get rid of Trump.  I don't think that will happen, though.  I give only a 15% chance that even with further evidence, the Republican Senate votes guilty.  That's not much better then where you are now with just nuance and suspicious behavior.

Finally, what effect is this going to have on Biden's run?  Biden currently has the best numbers against Trump.  Democrats can talk about circling their wagons, but it didn't much work last time.  Regardless of whether Biden was attempting to help his son, the job history of Hunter Biden is quite horrible.  The guy has no experience in just about anything, but winds up in plenty of high profile job positions making lots of cash.  Whether or not Joe Biden is trying to work for Hunter, foreign countries and corporations seem to be plenty willing to attempt to bribe Joe Biden through Hunter Biden.  Not quite sure if the Democrats will end up caring, though.  Most republicans don't seem to care about the amount of money foreign leaders and corporations shovel Trump's way through staying at his hotels. 

Anyways, thank the gawds that Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz didn't become President.  We'd be knee deep in scandal and fake news by now.  California would have probably seceded.  We'd be overrun by Mexicans and in a depression. 

LetterRip

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #124 on: September 27, 2019, 10:38:53 AM »
-If it is extortion, is it in fact illegal for the President to leverage pressure against another country in this way? Can the President in fact follow through on this kind of extortion, and if he can, is he allowed to?

Extortion of another country by the US government is legal for legitimate government purposes.

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-Is getting dirt on a political opponent illegal, even via asking a foreign power for help, if the opponent may have committed a crime?

Getting dirt on a political opponent is legal if done via certain means - other means are illegal.  Asking a foreign power is illegal.  If the individual is alledged to have committed a crime than the proper agency can investigate it (though it may be illegal for a President to direct a government agency to investigate his opposition - I'm not clear on that).

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If it is illegal, would this mean some of the actions taken to get dirt on Trump previously were illegal, since they involved foreign sources and spies?

If Obama had asked the Prime Minister of England what dirt they had on Trump in exchange for some sort of consideration it would have been illegal. Clinton hiring a law firm, who then hired a research firm, who then hired a ex-spy isn't illegal.  Foreign nationals can be hired by campaigns both directly (such as Trumps campaign hiring a UK analytics agency - however foreign nationals can't direct actions during a campaign a law that was frequently broken) and indirectly (hiring a law firm who hires an investigation agency that hires a foreign national).  What you can't do is use US government resources for personal gain.  It is illegal to seek favors from foreign government officials for personal benefit - especially when there is an implied or explicit quid pro quo from the government.

It is the involvement of government representatives that make it illegal.

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-Are there definitely transcripts of conversations like this, that are different in content from the conversation as it was relearsed to us here? i.e. is there obvious precedent to show that this 'transcript' is in fact not a real transcript but just a memorandum as you say?

If you read the memorandum - it states explicitly that it is a memorandum and isn't a transcript.

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CAUTION: A Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation (TELCON) is not a verbatim transcript of a discussion. The text in this document records the notes and recollections of Situation Room Duty officers and NSC policy staff assigned to listen and memorialize the conversation in written form as the conversation takes place. A number of factors can affect the accuracy of the record, including poor telecommunications connections and variations in accent and/or interpretation, The word “inaudible” is used to indicate portions of a conversation that the notetaker was unable to hear.

I'm not certain that there is a transcript or if the memorandum is all that exists.

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So the points:
-What is the actual extortion: what is being held over Ukraine's head, and what are the supposed conequences of failure to comply? What interest is there for Trump to extort in this way?

The President halted aid that congress had allocated to the Ukraine days before the call.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/trump-ordered-hold-on-military-aid-days-before-calling-ukrainian-president-officials-say/2019/09/23/df93a6ca-de38-11e9-8dc8-498eabc129a0_story.html

Also his response to the Ukraine President's question clearly implies a quid pro quo (we will buy stuff from you only if you provide dirt on Biden).  So there are two things that the Ukraine was being extorted over - military aid and future weapon sales.

How many countries wouldn't be willing to fabricate evidence for more than half a billion dollars?
« Last Edit: September 27, 2019, 10:47:27 AM by LetterRip »

NobleHunter

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #125 on: September 27, 2019, 10:40:33 AM »
There was a mention of voice recognition software being used to generate the memo. It may mean there's a recording or that there was a recording.

Grant

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #126 on: September 27, 2019, 10:54:48 AM »

Extortion of another country by the US government is legal for legitimate government purposes.
Emphasis is mine.
Please!  Coercive Diplomacy, or Hard Power.  We don't extort.

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The President halted aid that congress had allocated to the Ukraine days before the call.

Fake NOOOOOOOZZZZ!

NATO has gotten to LR.  Activate Patriot Shields, full power! 

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Also his response to the Ukraine President's question clearly implies a quid pro quo (we will buy stuff from you only if you provide dirt on Biden).  So there are two things that the Ukraine was being extorted over - military aid and future weapon sales.

Small quibble.  The assertion is properly phrased: "we sell stuff to you, only if you provide dirt on Biden". 

I take it then LR, that you believe Zelenskyy was REQUESTING arms, and not PROMISING payment?  What about the assertion that the Ukrainians really don't need those weapons? 


Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #127 on: September 27, 2019, 11:15:53 AM »
Does everyone know that at the time of this phone call that Ukraine was not aware that the payment was being held up for further vetting? Seems relevant if you're trying to make the case that this payment was being held up as the extortion attempt. Kind of hard to extort someone if they don't know anything about it.

Also, how did Schiff know details of the complaint at least 2 weeks before Congress was notified of it? How did he have that advance notice?

To summarize, there’s no evidence of a cover-up (both the transcript and the whistleblower complaint are public), no evidence of quid pro quo (multiple reports state that the Ukrainians didn’t even know military aid was being withheld). So what exactly is the theory of impeachment?

Grant

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #128 on: September 27, 2019, 11:26:18 AM »
Does everyone know that at the time of this phone call that Ukraine was not aware that the payment was being held up for further vetting? Seems relevant if you're trying to make the case that this payment was being held up as the extortion attempt. Kind of hard to extort someone if they don't know anything about it.

I think this is an important question, and I mentioned it before as to the timeline involved.  I've seen some reporting that Zalenskyy was not aware that the aid was being withheld until the Politico story broke on the 28th, 3 days after the phone call.  I've also heard it speculated that Zalenskyy was aware that the aid was being withheld, possibly through Guiliani, who it was mentioned had been in contact with one of Zalenskyy's aids, who was apparently calling to get the info that Trump is referencing.  It's all possible, but again there seems to be no clear proof.  I havn't read a statement either way. 

The second part though is: does it really matter?  Would it still be bad if Trump asked for a favor and THEN cut off the aid if the results were not forthcoming?  Which is worse?  Cut off the aid first and then make the request, or make the request and then cut off the aid?  I don't know, but I know it equates to the same thing, but at different stages.  But there is no CLEAR proof that Trump cut off the aid because the Ukrainians were not giving him what he wanted.  There are some excuses like corruption and whatever else being given.  It's all assumption. 

A mafia don would probably be convicted by a jury with this information.  But Donald Trump isn't a mafia don, and the Senate is not a jury of normal people.  A mafia don is a criminal and everybody knows it.  Donald Trump is the POTUS and would he actually lie or attempt to cooerce anybody for political gain?  It's all in how you view the defendant. 

ScottF

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #129 on: September 27, 2019, 11:30:55 AM »

Also his response to the Ukraine President's question clearly implies a quid pro quo (we will buy stuff from you only if you provide dirt on Biden).  So there are two things that the Ukraine was being extorted over - military aid and future weapon sales.

Wait, the US was offering to purchase from Ukraine - is that a typo?

"clearly implies" is a subjective statement and one degree of separation from Schiff's fabricated transcript he read to the press in his brilliant verbatim-esque parody. Obviously I have my own biases but this whole thing feels like a loser to me - unless the dems are now playing 4d chess and this is just part of the long con to oust Biden.

Wayward Son

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #130 on: September 27, 2019, 11:33:39 AM »
When the aid was cut off, and when Zalenskyy learned of it, is not that important.

Even if Zalenskyy learned 3 days after the phone call that Trump had cut off the aid, he may have interpreted it as Trump showing that he was serious about getting his "favor."

ScottF

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #131 on: September 27, 2019, 11:43:02 AM »
"may have interpreted" does not sound compelling, nor does "clearly implies". Am I the only one thinking this is as flimsy as it appears? It's entirely possible I don't understand the impeachment process and what needs to be proven vs simply suggested or implied.

Wayward Son

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #132 on: September 27, 2019, 11:43:56 AM »
Has the Trump Administration explained why they added an extra layer of classification to the memorandum?

According to the complaint:

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According to multiple White House officials I spoke with, the transcript of the President's call with President Zelenskyy was placed into a computer system managed directly by the National Security Council (NSC) Directorate for Intelligence Programs. This is a standalone computer system reserved for codeword-level intelligence information , such as covert action. According to information I received from White House officials, some officials voiced concerns internally that this would be an abuse of the system and was not consistent with the responsibilities of the Directorate for Intelligence Programs. According to White House officials I spoke with, this was "not the first time" under this Administration that a Presidential transcript was placed into this codeword-level system solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive — rather than national security sensitive — information .

Assuming we saw the memorandum in question, there did not seem to be much in the way of classified information in that phone call.

Per Wikipedia, codeword classification is a way to compartmentalize sensitive information, whether it be Secret or Top Secret.  (I'm not sure it applies to Confidential info.)  What part of that conversation, which we have been told is "perfectly fine and routine," warranted that extra security?

Grant

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #133 on: September 27, 2019, 11:45:48 AM »
When the aid was cut off, and when Zalenskyy learned of it, is not that important.

Even if Zalenskyy learned 3 days after the phone call that Trump had cut off the aid, he may have interpreted it as Trump showing that he was serious about getting his "favor."

Meh.  I'm not positive because I havn't seen the US legal definitions for quid pro quo, but I believe it's important if you are trying to show the phone call as evidence of quid pro quo.  I believe for there to be an offer of quid pro quo, both parties must understand the terms of the trade.  If Trump had not cut off the money already, or if Zalenskyy had not found out about it yet, then the phone call could be interpreted reasonably as "hey, I just would like a favor", instead of "if you want this then do this".  Perhaps later it would have been better understood, but then the phone call isn't evidence. 

On the other hand, if Zalenskyy knew the aid was being cut off, then it puts the call in a different light.  Then, the interpretation that Zalenskyy was requesting that the aid be continued and requesting arms makes more sense.  Otherwise, Serati and Fenring have a point that Zalensky was simply mentioning that they were ready to purchase more weapons rather than asking for more weapons, since the weapons had already been sold previously and there was no clear sign that the aid would be cut off in the phone call. 

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #134 on: September 27, 2019, 01:14:05 PM »
Well, Biden’s crime happened in Ukraine. I suppose that would be up to them to investigate, maybe?  I’m not sure we staff our own “professional investigators” in Ukraine or if they have any real jurisdiction there. Can you fill on those blanks?

Meh.  If Biden put pressure on Ukraine in order to facilitate the financial gain of a family member, what he did sounds like a violation of 5 CFR § 2635.702.   Use of public office for private gain.  Of course, the problem is that the regulations only apply to executive branch employees.  Biden, as Vice-President, is the ONLY member of the executive branch not considered an employee of the executive branch since he is a constitutionally appointed officer.  He is appointed by the electoral college, not the POTUS and confirmed by the Senate.  If he were not, you could open an investigation.  Then you can ask for foreign cooperation on the investigation.  You can even apply political pressure.  The problem arises when you're doing all this without an actual formally opened investigation.  When an investigation is officially opened, then it is the United States that wants the investigation done.  Even if there is no formal investigation, it certainly looks better if you're not asking for a foreign investigation on your political opponent.

So wait, Biden's defense is to pull a page from Trump with regards to "I don't think it's possible for the PotUS to have a 'conflict of interest'" after all?

As Grant suggested, it would be better for the professional investigators to coordinate with the Ukrainians for an investigation, rather than having a President pressuring the Ukrainians to come up with something.

"Problem" here comes in the form Trump's own issues regarding the FBI.

The FBI ostensibly (and/or the Inspector General's office) would be the ones with jurisdiction in investigating this as it relates to Federal Law and Biden's activities involving Ukraine.

The IG is largely toothless, which means the FBI, which is currently viewed by many Republicans as "being in the tank" for the Democrats, so the expectation is referring it the FBI would mean they chose to let the investigation wither and die.

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #135 on: September 27, 2019, 01:29:51 PM »
Which, of course, is why Trump specifically told Zelenskyy to talk to his No. 1 crime investigator: Rudy Giuliani.  He's done outstanding service, working in the Department of...uh...hmm, who is it that Giuliani works for again?  ???  And why was he one of the people Zelenskyy was supposed to talk to? ;)

Yeah, Trump just wants a crime to be investigated.  Just like he never said The Wall would be made of concrete.  ::)

The thing I'm finding funny as I think about this....

How quickly people seem to have forgotten what Giuliani did prior to becoming Mayor of NYC...

edit: here's a hint
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Attorney_for_the_Southern_District_of_New_York
« Last Edit: September 27, 2019, 01:37:30 PM by TheDeamon »

Grant

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #136 on: September 27, 2019, 01:32:07 PM »
So wait, Biden's defense is to pull a page from Trump with regards to "I don't think it's possible for the PotUS to have a 'conflict of interest'" after all?

I don't think it's a matter of there not being an actual conflict of interest possible.  I think it's more a matter of pointing to actual illegal action.  Something cannot be illegal if there is no law against it.  The President and Vice President, as constitutional officers, are granted a huge amount of executive privilege.  As I stated, the rules in 5 CFR CH XVI do not apply to the President and Vice President.  However, impeachment does not require an actual rule violation.  It's a double edged sword. 

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The IG is largely toothless, which means the FBI, which is currently viewed by many Republicans as "being in the tank" for the Democrats, so the expectation is referring it the FBI would mean they chose to let the investigation wither and die.

Well, first, if the IG is toothless or if the FBI is corrupt, it is the responsibility of the chief executive, the POTUS, to fix those problems.  Perhaps Trump can just drain the swamp by firing the entire agency and creating a new Federal Law Enforcement Bureau, the Keeping America Great Bureau.  The K.A.G.B.  He can staff it with clones of Joe Arpaio and David Clarke. 

Secondly, if the IG is toothless then Trump should have nothing to worry about whatever findings the IG comes up with.  On the other hand, the Democrats can say that they can't believe anything the IG says because it is toothless. 

Grant

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #137 on: September 27, 2019, 01:36:22 PM »
The thing I'm finding funny as I think about this....

How quickly people seem to have forgotten what Giuliani did prior to becoming Mayor of NYC...

It's not what he used to do.  It's what he's doing now.  He's Trump's PERSONAL lawyer.  Any job he is doing is for Trump PERSONALLY, and not as an agent of the United States.  Hence, any investigation he is involved in, his duty is to his client, Donald Trump, and not the United States.  Hence, involving Rudy in the investigation helps the argument that the requested investigations were for PERSONAL GAIN rather than for national gain. 

I don't know what's funny about that. 

Ignoring it or not being able to understand it might be humorous.  Like in a "your Imperial Majesty, your new clothes are magnificent!" kind of way. 

Wayward Son

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #138 on: September 27, 2019, 01:47:35 PM »

Meh.  I'm not positive because I havn't seen the US legal definitions for quid pro quo, but I believe it's important if you are trying to show the phone call as evidence of quid pro quo.  I believe for there to be an offer of quid pro quo, both parties must understand the terms of the trade.  If Trump had not cut off the money already, or if Zalenskyy had not found out about it yet, then the phone call could be interpreted reasonably as "hey, I just would like a favor", instead of "if you want this then do this".  Perhaps later it would have been better understood, but then the phone call isn't evidence.

I don't think so.  Consider the following scenario:

You're purchasing a yacht from a rich person.  The purchase is going well, and the rich person calls you to congratulate you on something.  During the call he asks you, as a favor to do something odd.  Then three days later you find out that he had previously stopped the purchase for some weird reason.  (How many different reasons has the Trump Administration given so far for stopping the aid?  3?  4?  More?)

Would it be unreasonable to believe that the rich person stopped the sale of the yacht until he had the chance to call you and ask his favor?  And that the continued purchase of the yacht would not proceed until you proved that you were doing that favor for him?

Isn't this somewhat similar to the way that Michael Cohen testified that Trump indicated that he should lie about negotiations for the construction of a Trump Tower in Moscow?

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #139 on: September 27, 2019, 01:49:26 PM »
It's not what he used to do.  It's what he's doing now.  He's Trump's PERSONAL lawyer.  Any job he is doing is for Trump PERSONALLY, and not as an agent of the United States.  Hence, any investigation he is involved in, his duty is to his client, Donald Trump, and not the United States.

This is a not unreasonable conclusion to reach, from a certain point of view. However let's take the recent mafia example and apply it here: think of Giuliani as Trump's consigliere, like in The Godfather. It's a right-hand man who you trust, who can provide strategic advice while knowing what all the legal implications will be, and who can be trusted with important assignments. Now it's true the consigliere is dedicated to serving the don, but on the other hand this is only good or bad dependant on what the don's goals are. I sort of think that's the role Giuliani is playing now in general. Trump sending him in makes sense if he trusts him, knows that he can act not only intelligently but with a strong view of the law in mind, and that he'll keep an eye on both the mission and how it implicates Trump. So far I'm not seeing a conflict of interest, unless you state a priori that Trump's interests are at odds with those of America. Insofar as we believe Trump acts for himself then we would likewise assume Giuliani's actions will benefit Trump and not America. Insofar as we may believe Trump acts for the good of America, Giuliani's actions will benefit America. It sort of brings us back to square one in terms of evaluating whether Giuliani will 'help America' or not by being the one to go. However assuming we value the office of the President at all, it should be seen as a good thing that the President has people he can actually trust to defend the interests of his office (i.e. him while he occupies it) rather than being a double or triple agent and serving multiple masters at once. If he legitimately can trust Giuliani then I don't blame him for using him as a second in important affairs.

NobleHunter

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #140 on: September 27, 2019, 02:00:07 PM »
First of all, the analogy you picked should highlight why using Giulani like this is a problem.

Second, in terms of maintaining an ethical organization potential conflicts of interest need to be taken seriously. People need to be able to trust that the right decisions are made for the right reasons. Otherwise when interests actually do diverge, you've got no safeguards to ensure the interests of the organization (the US in the case) triumph over the interests of the individual.

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #141 on: September 27, 2019, 02:25:29 PM »
The purpose of an investigation is to investigate if this was Trump being Trump, or if there was a deliberate effort to cover up Trump being Trump because it was embarrassing, unethical, or illegal. Thus, the whistleblower raised the issue using the proper channels and was allegedly ignored and buried away from the sunlight.

The IG investigation may cover this, but Impeachment Proceedings and investigation must concentrate on whether any actions by POTUS was unethical or illegal.

Unethical behavior is grounds for impeachment?

Why isn't most of the House, and large parts of the Senate undergoing impeachment proceedings as well? That process applies to congress and the Judiciary as well, it isn't reserved solely for the Executive Branch.

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #142 on: September 27, 2019, 02:34:02 PM »
The thing I'm finding funny as I think about this....

How quickly people seem to have forgotten what Giuliani did prior to becoming Mayor of NYC...

It's not what he used to do.  It's what he's doing now.  He's Trump's PERSONAL lawyer.  Any job he is doing is for Trump PERSONALLY, and not as an agent of the United States.  Hence, any investigation he is involved in, his duty is to his client, Donald Trump, and not the United States.  Hence, involving Rudy in the investigation helps the argument that the requested investigations were for PERSONAL GAIN rather than for national gain.

The "unofficial offical envoy" thing is a very old practice, it is nothing new. The degree to which Trump uses it may be new, but the practice itself isn't. President's have acted through "trusted third parties" who are not subject to Congressional oversight/review, or part of the "normal career path" for such functions for ages.

Maybe Giuliani sold his soul to Trump, but I have serious doubts about Giuliani sticking his neck out on the line for something which would put him in the cross-hairs for illegal activities.

Grant

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #143 on: September 27, 2019, 02:35:44 PM »
let's take the recent mafia example and apply it here: think of Giuliani as Trump's consigliere, like in The Godfather.

What
Are
You
Doing?

Quote
So far I'm not seeing a conflict of interest, unless you state a priori that Trump's interests are at odds with those of America. Insofar as we believe Trump acts for himself then we would likewise assume Giuliani's actions will benefit Trump and not America. Insofar as we may believe Trump acts for the good of America, Giuliani's actions will benefit America.

How about we extend this to say that the POTUS can have his own personal mercenary force, and deploy it instead of the US Army?  This is fine as long as the POTUS's interests are the same as America.  Same with the State Department and Justice Department apparently.  They can all be personal employees of the POTUS.  As long as POTUS's interests are the same as the US.  Great idea.  We can save plenty of money too.  Wish Obama had thought of this.  That would have been GREAAAAAAAAT. 

Government employees, whose responsibility includes taking official actions for the United States, are government employees rather than private employees of the POTUS, and hence their first obligation is to the public trust rather than a private employer, because conflicts of interests are to be assumed to probably exist and no individual should have that level of power in government.  This is a bedrock principle of conservative and classical liberal government. 

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. 

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #144 on: September 27, 2019, 02:40:01 PM »
I just read the whistle blower complaint.  If you didn't believe in  a deep state before, that document should remove all doubt.   

 ::) 
Cumon, man.  Why's it always have to be a conspiracy?  It's either a media conspiracy, or a deep state conspiracy, or a NATO conspiracy, or a G20 conspiracy, or an Illuminati conspiracy, or a CIA conspiracy, or an Israeli conspiracy, or a Saudi conspiracy, or a Republican conspiracy.  I don't even know what "deep state" means, other than it's used like there is some deep conspiracy within the US government to hurt Trump.  Some nefarious group of a government within a government.  "The Swamp".  A boogie-man.  Majestic 12.  Men in Black.  Whatever.

"Deep State" is usually an interconnected web of people in the "political power elite class" like Bush 41(not so much his sons), intelligence and police agencies, and otherwise deeply entrenched persons in the permanent bureaucracy and its various "private contractors" linked into other arms of the government. Basically the career arm of those agencies rather than "those political interlopers" that come and go with differing Presidencies.

There also is the Corporate side of things as well where certain corporate interests happen to closely align with the career (unelected) government guy, and have developed "relationships" with people in government positions which can enable them to move levers within the Bureaucracy at certain times that suit their interests.

Grant

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #145 on: September 27, 2019, 02:40:36 PM »
Unethical behavior is grounds for impeachment?

Why isn't most of the House, and large parts of the Senate undergoing impeachment proceedings as well? That process applies to congress and the Judiciary as well, it isn't reserved solely for the Executive Branch.

Probably because there are bodies, within Congress, whose sole purpose is to conduct ethical investigations and recommend disciplinary action for members of Congress.  The only body that can conduct disciplinary proceedings on the POTUS is.....Congress.  Though impeachment. 

Quote
President's have acted through "trusted third parties" who are not subject to Congressional oversight/review, or part of the "normal career path" for such functions for ages.

Such as? 

Grant

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #146 on: September 27, 2019, 02:44:32 PM »

"Deep State" is usually an interconnected web of people in the "political power elite class" like Bush 41(not so much his sons), intelligence and police agencies, and otherwise deeply entrenched persons in the permanent bureaucracy and its various "private contractors" linked into other arms of the government. Basically the career arm of those agencies rather than "those political interlopers" that come and go with differing Presidencies.

Where do they have their meetings to decide how they are going to bring down Trump?  Career civil servants probably take up a pretty big portion of the Federal Government.  Maybe Disneyworld has a ballroom big enough?   

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #147 on: September 27, 2019, 02:46:47 PM »
How about we extend this to say that the POTUS can have his own personal mercenary force, and deploy it instead of the US Army?  This is fine as long as the POTUS's interests are the same as America.  Same with the State Department and Justice Department apparently.  They can all be personal employees of the POTUS.  As long as POTUS's interests are the same as the US.  Great idea.  We can save plenty of money too.  Wish Obama had thought of this.  That would have been GREAAAAAAAAT.

Letters of Marque are a Congressional power, not an executive one. That said, Operation Iraqi Freedom saw a lot of known private contractors doing contract work for DOD and other governmental agencies, so such activities isn't outside the norm, it just had several layers of abstraction removed from the "and points in between" getting from PotUS, cycling down through the involved executive agency until you get to the specific contract for the contractor involved.

Instead you're dealing with someone operating under the purview of the PotUS directly, and presumably paid by PotUS, not the taxpayer, which is certainly a different twist. That said, I doubt Trump is sending his personal lawyer over to kick doors in and shoot a bunch of people personally. So he doesn't need the legal authority to wage war, he just needs the ability to communicate.

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #148 on: September 27, 2019, 02:52:24 PM »
President's have acted through "trusted third parties" who are not subject to Congressional oversight/review, or part of the "normal career path" for such functions for ages.

Such as?

I didn't keep examples "at hand" because I never honestly thought this would come up as even being an issue. I'm not even sure at the moment how I would even frame a google search to start looking for examples. As I alluded to, the difference with Trump is the degree and extent to which he is doing so. Usually the "unofficial official envoy" scenario is either alternately intended to be relatively low-key for obvious reasons(they don't want attention), or for enabling communications with countries that official relations aren't currently possible for various reasons, but an open visit isn't too much of an issue for that category of person. (Iran, Cuba, North Korea come to mind specifically).

Grant

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #149 on: September 27, 2019, 03:20:11 PM »

I didn't keep examples "at hand" because I never honestly thought this would come up as even being an issue. I'm not even sure at the moment how I would even frame a google search to start looking for examples. As I alluded to, the difference with Trump is the degree and extent to which he is doing so. Usually the "unofficial official envoy" scenario is either alternately intended to be relatively low-key for obvious reasons(they don't want attention), or for enabling communications with countries that official relations aren't currently possible for various reasons, but an open visit isn't too much of an issue for that category of person. (Iran, Cuba, North Korea come to mind specifically).

I'm going to help out here.  What you're referring to are "Special Envoys".  Yes there is a history of them.  They are typically emergency appointments for temporary jobs. 

However.  Special envoys, paid or unpaid, are actual government employees, and are subject to government ethics.  The POTUS can appoint Special Envoys, paid or unpaid, in much the same way Ambassadors are appointed, except there is no Congressional oversight.  But they are all officially appointed.  They all hold a US Government title.  They are all subject to 18 U.S.C. and 5 CFR.  Because they are officially appointed GOVERNMENT AGENTS.   They are appointed by the POTUS, but work for the United States.  They are therefore subject to government employee ethics rules. 

Rudy isn't a special envoy.  He hasn't been appointed to anything except he was once called Trumps special advisor on cyber security.  But there was no official appointment.  He is Trump's personal lawyer.  He is not subject to government ethics rules.