Monday, October 31, 2016

discussions about Comey

My views of the Comey action are very strongly colored by decades of observing and trying to follow legal rules back when I was a government official even at a much lower level.

Of course I also remember being on a jury when the whole thing was dissolved because a prosecutor disobeyed the rules of how you get evidence. That frustrates people a lot, but has been deeply enshrined in law because of the importance of obeying rules of privacy and human rights. When Russian hackers violate privacy of DNC, and Trump positively encourages them that way, it is hard for me to imagine folks who pretend to be libertarians who want to use such wrongfully gathered information, who cheer the violation of privacy and of US integrity, and convince themselves to be more shocked by a Secretary of State making evaluations and decisions about minor matters of foreign policy than about fundamental violation of bedrock of our system. Dead serious.

And Inspectors General at NSF had very clear rules about not saying anything about ongoing investigations, even under the new gestapo. This is also hugely worrisome.

And then the discussion of Comey.

The obvious first conclusion is that he was under HUGE PRESSURE, pressure to violate the very foundations of the democratic system as well as long-standing traditions and rules, even under advice from unconflicted people above him in the nominal chain of command (a chain of command increasingly supplanted by another one...) Pressure form moles in the FBI itself loyal to that other chain of command with heavy external support.

"What could he do under such pressure?" asked Luda. "Resign? Then you accomplish nothing."
Actually I faced that same choice myself when under pressure from that same interagency gestapo.
I remembered Hippocrates: "First do no harm." There actually are times when it is more responsible to resign or retire than to give in, when zero is a better accomplishment than what Comey chose to do under these new pressures. (Was it Chafitz from Utah who also felt similar pressures and tortuously buckled under?) And that's what I did. There are times when the right way is a third alternative, to fight the improper pressures... which Comey was in a good position to do.. not appropriate for me for a number of reasons  (other issues in play and need to consider them).. and it is deeply worrisome indeed that he did not value the Constitution and the Republic enough to do that.

Of course I remember the last chapter of the book "A G-Man's journal," newspaper accounts of the reorganizations and changes of rules led by Cheney (all well before the gestapo extended to other agencies), and experiences of people like Pete Worden and Hansen of NASA... but back to physics and private sector solar power stuff. Best of luck.

-- Clearly the folks within FBI who pressured Comey should be investigated.
-- And: Trump's embrace of Comey and quick shift make it clear that if elected he would be happy to make a deal to become Queen of England.

AFTER ELECTION DAY! No matter who is elected, and what they do, it will not be that way. If even the head of the FBI feels overwhelmed, and if Secretaries of State are no longer permitted to override decisions by gestapo on what US foreign policy should be (including information flows, a key part of any foreign policy)...

Wouldn't whistle blowers have told everyone? Not if they were informed that such things get immediately forwarded to Lamar Smith, and there were recent cases of folks who succeeded with special congressional investigators who even then were quietly removed from the picture...

Trump says he will drain the swamp. As he vacillates on behavior like Comey's, compliant to the wrong kind of pressure... would Trump clear just enough space in the swamp to make room for a TV studio for himself? If the alligators flatter him enough, will he be happy just to bask in the sun himself and let them eat the rest of the world alive? In other words, is he even more of a vain wimp than Jeb Bush ever was? For now, he is acting that way. (I remember when Sanders's popularity rose after "To hell with the damn emails." Maybe Trump is more of a wimp than Sanders ever was.)

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