The Lajes’ Protocol IV: The President, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Politicization of the DOJ

The President has ordered a selective declassification of a very limited amount of information related to one of the FISA warrant applications pertaining to Carter Page, as well as text messages intended to make Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, and Ohr look bad.

My professional take on this is that this declassification order is part of a preplanned strategic communication strategy to try to get the news media off of reporting that is not positive for the President, his administration, the GOP majority in both chambers of Congress, the Kavanaugh nomination, and the upcoming midterms. Apparently the Man from Lajes, also known as Congressman Devin Nunes, agrees.

Here’s Congressman Schiff’s, the ranking member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, statement on what the President ordered:

What’s interesting is that the DOJ and FBI doesn’t seem to have any idea how to proceed.

David Kris, the former Assistant Attorney General for National Security, had this to say:

Also, from Joyce Vance, a former US Attorney, and Julie Zebrak, formerly of both the Department of Justice and the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Office.

Here’s what I think is going to happen: the selectively unclassified and unredacted material will be released. Like every previous one of these attempts by either the President and/or his allies like Congressman Nunes, it will quickly be picked apart and make them look silly. Even more important, as was the case a couple of weeks ago regarding what Bruce Ohr’s actual work for the DOJ was about, the US intelligence community will selectively leak in order to knock this selective declassification back. And at the end of the day all that will have happened is the President and his allies in Congress like Congressman Nunes will have simply further damaged and weakened the Department of Justice, the FBI, and other parts of the intelligence community in order to protect their own political and/or legal fortunes.

This is a blatant and obvious attempt to try to change the news reporting, but I just don’t think it is going to work. Especially given the track records of the people involved. The Fox News and MAGA on social media crowd will embrace it, Russian bots and trolls will try to amplify it, but there is too much legitimate news breaking right now for this to really break through. The news for the rest of this week is going to be the Kavanaugh nomination meshugas, the trade war, including new competing tariffs, with China, violent, serial criminal activity by Customs and Border Patrol and ICE officers, and the ongoing news regarding the coming mid-term elections.

Stay focused!

If this is what the senior Florida Republicans think is coming, then no amount of chaff is going to distract the news media from the actual targets!

Open thread.

 

144 replies
  1. 1
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    OT (Sorry): Cole is trying to restart the Libya intervention fight on Twitter.

  2. 2
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Pro, con, or both?

  3. 3
    Bobby Thomson says:

    This is perhaps the signal feature of many of his worst actions — he seems assiduously to view and engage with everything through the straw-sized aperture of his own self-interest instead of the broader national interest.

    The only thing that shocks me about this administration is that so many journalists continue to hold onto a glimmer of hope that Trump gives a shit about the national interest or is even capable of conceiving it.

  4. 4
    Spanky says:

    What a cluster of stupid motherfucking motherfuckers.

  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    This plan can’t possibly work. The damage that it will do is incalculable. These are clearly the actions of a desperate and dangerous regime. Is there not a Republican left that will try to throw a rope around this insanity?

  8. 8
    Jeffro says:

    I’m ready for someone to rid me of this meddlesome pres…oh, whatever. I’ve been praying for it for two years now and it hasn’t happened. VOTE LIKE YOUR REPUBLIC DEPENDS UPON IT, because it surely does.

    Also: any enterprising young reporters out there want to ask GOP lawmakers YET. AGAIN. what they would do if a Democratic president under investigation pulled this shit? Would DC even still be standing?

  9. 9
    Jeffro says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: Anything to save himself…anything to try and drive R voters to the polls…anything, anything at all. Chaff upon chaff upon chaff, and Republicans just stand by and watch it all happen.

  10. 10
    Ruckus says:

    @Jeffro:
    Do you really have to ask?

  11. 11
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It was during the time that he decided to oppose all military actions because he had been a moron about Iraq, I tend toward RTP and liberal interventionism; I opposed the Iraq invasion. There were words back then.

  12. 12
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:
    There are plenty of republicans left that would like to stop this insanity. Unfortunately, none of them are in a position to do anything about it right now and aren’t in the ruling party.

  13. 13
    Schlemazel says:

    I would love to know what percentage of assholes in the FBI and intel community are still loyal Republicans. They really should be removed from their jobs as they are obviously a threat to the nations security

  14. 14

    @Jeffro:

    any enterprising young reporters out there want to ask GOP lawmakers YET. AGAIN. what they would do if a Democratic president under investigation pulled this shit?

    “Sorry, I can’t comment on hypotheticals.”

  15. 15
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @Jeffro: I hate to admit it, but you’re right. I guess I’m still naive. ‘They can’t ALL be rotten crooks, can they? There must be one, decent, patriotic soul amongst them, right? Right?’

  16. 16
    Jeffro says:

    @Ruckus: I am the Duke of Rhetorical Questions, it’s just my thing, ok?

    Seriously, though, it’s like Exhibit #1183 in the Hall of Shit that Republicans Would Never Even Come Close To Maybe Even Thinking About Entertaining About Thinking About Entertaining if it Were A Dem.

    Fuck it, who cares…WE ARE COMING FOR YOU IN NOVEMBER, Republicans!

  17. 17
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    About liberal interventionism. Some commenters on Lawyers, Guns, and Money are deeply critical of Democratic foreign policy because we think that American hegemony is generally a good thing. What I would ask them (if the thread in question wasn’t dead) is who do they think should be hedgemon instead?

  18. 18
    Jeffro says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: Same thing I put out most days on FB and to friends and rag on my RWNJ dad/brother about: this. man. has no. bottom. And truly, everything he touches turns to shit.

  19. 19
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: My Magic 8 Ball app says: “NO!!!!”

  20. 20
    different-church-lady says:

    Or perhaps it’s just to provide a cover narrative for when the hacked vote totals diverge from the polls by 14 points.

  21. 21
    AThornton says:

    CNN polling has Kyrsten Sinema over Martha McSally (R) by 7 points, in Tennessee Bredesen (D) with a 5-point lead over Marsha Blackburn.

    Election is turning hard against the GOP.

    Tick tock motherfuckers <— VERY much NSFW

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: These are not easy questions to answer. I’ve had sleepless nights over analytical papers or briefings on similar topics in regard to what I should or shouldn’t recommend and why. People of good conscience can disagree on this.

  24. 24
    Jeffro says:

    More and more, I feel like we should have been banging on Trumpov’s GOP enablers all along. That and the “both sides” media (although frankly most mainstream outlets have been covering his many abuses accurately).

    But every time he pulled his nonsensical, anti-American, inhumane, stupid, moronic, racist shit, we should have just beat the shit out of GOP officials at all levels. Ah well, we’ll get to do it in November. But we should have been beating on them non-stop for the past two years.

  25. 25
    James E Powell says:

    The news for the rest of this week is going to be the Kavanaugh nomination meshugas, the trade war, including new competing tariffs, with China, violent, serial criminal activity by Customs and Border Patrol and ICE officers, and the ongoing news regarding the coming mid-term elections.

    Amazing how Manafort & Cohen pleading & cooperating disappeared.

  26. 26
    Brachiator says:

    Rep. Devin Nunes, who chairs the intelligence committee, says the Democrats have “corrupted” the Justice Dept. and FBI.

    Nunes and Trump are definitely on the same page, and Nunes is willing to do anything to give Trump cover, even destroy the FBI and CIA.

    I agree that this foolishness is inept and only makes the GOP look stupid. But it also erodes any belief that government can be something other than a malignant force in the lives of the people.

  27. 27
    Ruckus says:

    @Jeffro:
    Well you have to admit that among all the republican congressional members, there isn’t enough smarts to try to come up with a plan on their own to stop this even if they wanted to. And they don’t want to. One of their main goals has been to cripple and reduce the federal government, and the shitgibbon is doing that for them. Of course like ever other time they’ve managed to go in this direction it bites them in the ass hard. But members of a cult will believe, right up till they drop dead from the punch or the lighting bolt or the ballot box. Shitgibbon is so insanely stupid and vile that he will destroy everything he can, even if he isn’t trying to. So all it takes to destroy a major government is one massively stupid and narcissistic asshole. Silly us, we thought nuclear weapons would be required.
    I hate to sound like TP but the amount of damage that is being done is massive and while all of it can be fixed at some point, I’d like to be here to see that happen and that’s not a sure bet at any odds.
    As I said on an earlier thread,
    IOW Monday.

  28. 28
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: I have no interest in American hegemony, but Bosnia and Rwanda happened when i was trying to form a world view that wasn’t just my college idealism. And yet, if you can help, you should help still popped up. We are an extremely rich country. We could do a lot of good things, if we chose to do so – domestically and overseas.*

    *Christ, I am having an earnest day.

  29. 29
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Major Major Major Major: You mean isolationists.

  30. 30
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @AThornton: I’ve seen both of those.

  31. 31

    @Gin & Tonic: I think it’s different. They don’t want America fixing other people’s problems.

  32. 32
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: No argument from me. As I just said to Goku above, Bosnia and Rwanda happened a very influential time in my life. I’d err on the side of trying to save lives. Cole is a few years younger and went a different route.

  33. 33
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yep.

  34. 34
    HinTN says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Christ, I am having an earnest day.

    Nothing wrong with that, mate.

    Help if you can is a damn good life plan.

  35. 35
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Right. Isolationists.

  36. 36
    Ruckus says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    They have somewhat of a point. Most all of our “help” hasn’t.
    And for example Russia is currently trying to “help” us. That’s going swimmingly isn’t it?
    Not trying to be an isolationist at all but butting in to shore up dictators hasn’t been one of our finest moments. Maybe there is another way than trying to be the worlds police, when the police in question is modeled after the kinds of police action that we’ve seen in the US. IOW kill the supposed bad guys no matter the evidence and allow no discussion of the propriety doing so.

  37. 37
    tobie says:

    @James E Powell: Good point. Manafort’s plea deals seems to have faded into the woodwork, and I gather that Flynn’s sentencing won’t happen till after the midterms, so we probably won’t hear from Mueller for some time. I don’t like that Trump’s public relations and legal teams (cough Emmett Flood cough) will cherrypick material to attack and embarrass the Russia investigation but I’m also not sure what effect it will have on the electorate. People are tired of the five-alarm fires Trump starts on a daily basis. The trick will be to make sure that outrage fatigue doesn’t lead to voting fatigue.

  38. 38
    HinTN says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I just hope Bredesen has enough coattails to bring Karl Dean into the governor’s mansion.

  39. 39

    @Gin & Tonic: no, they still want all the trade and other stuff that benefits us.

  40. 40
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    I’m in the beginning process of outlining and planning the plot for my novel, and I kind of know the elements I want to include but I’m worried that there could be undertones of xenophobia.

    The story deals with magical and supernatural elements interacting with our world and generally fucking things up. I plan on presenting this as ultimately negative and that the realms of science and magic should probably stay separate. This mostly stems from my own distrust of unfettered power and fear of tyranny. I also planned on presenting the government’s search for the as somewhat reasonable and understandable; fear of the unknown can be justified as long as you don’t panic and act irrationally.

    I remember watching JLU a long time ago and I remember Cadmus and the lengths they went to protect against supers. I may have disagreed with some of their morally questionable methods but I understood where they were coming from. Superman is an inspiring hero when he’s sane and good. But a person’s mental state can be a fragile thing even without powers. In other words, I’ve come to the reluctant conclusion that if something akin to individuals with superpowers existed in real life they couldn’t be allowed to exist because they’re too dangerous to humanity as we know it. They could neither be allowed to exist unchecked nor could they be allowed to be in government custody as they could be used as weapons by said government.

  41. 41
  42. 42
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @HinTN: I am a confirmed snarker and sarcasm addict. Earnestness is not my milieu.

    But you just can’t stand aside while horrible things happen when you have a chance stopping the horrible. Cole went with, “We will make it worse. Stay away.” I am more of an optimist than he is.

  43. 43

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: I’ve been meaning to ask, btw, if you want my email to chat about writing crap and stuff.

  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @HinTN: That I do not know. However, I expect that if the Democrats do well enough to either reach 50-50 parity with the GOP in the Senate (when you throw Senators King and Sanders into the Democratic caucus) or take the Senate majority by a seat or two that a lot of races that the GOP expected to win by a few points will go the other way. Now whether this happens or not, I cannot say.

  45. 45
    Mnemosyne says:

    Today was my first day back at work after my ACL surgery and my knee hurts like a motherfucker. I’m icing and elevating it right now, and that’s helping. Ugh.

  46. 46
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: Have you considered working extreme vetting and building a wall into your plot?

  47. 47
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: wasn’t Cole in Gulf War I?

    I was in Rwanda a few months before it blew up. Every village we passed through had kids running to the road to wave at us. I try not to think about how many of them didn’t make it or were forced into armies or both.

  48. 48
    B.B.A. says:

    Peter Beinart has a piece on what a new Democratic foreign policy should look like. tl;dr give up Taiwan to China and the Baltics to Russia because nobody here cares enough to die for them. It’s a hard pill to swallow but sadly I think he has a point.

  49. 49
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: Have you tried whistling while you work?//

  50. 50
    sukabi says:

    @Brachiator: Nunes is covering his own ass. It’s really as simple as that. Whatever he has hiding in his closet will make an appearance before this all shakes out.

  51. 51
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Adam L Silverman: it seems more common than not for most Senate races to swing the same way.

  52. 52
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:
    This also brings up the uncomfortable dilemma of a person’s human rights vs national security; the hypothetical point where a person/being would no longer be a mere criminal or terrorist that still possesses certain inalienable rights but an existential threat that would have to be destroyed or contained at nearly any cost.

  53. 53
  54. 54
    B.B.A. says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Regarding Libya, we did make it worse and we should have stayed away. Are you disputing that?

  55. 55
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bobby Thomson: I taught a Rwandan brigadier general when I was at USAWC. His mother and a significant chunk of his family was massacred. I have no hesitation whatsoever in saying that we should have intervened.

  56. 56
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: Jebus. My knee was wrecked – ACL, partial MCL, and meniscus. I had the surgery done on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend and went back to work on that Tuesday. What happened?

  57. 57
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bobby Thomson: That’s just science!

  58. 58
  59. 59

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: i think a lot of superhero and fantasy fiction deals with these themes nowadays, doesn’t it? So lots of places to look for inspiration.

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Bobby Thomson: He was in the 11 ACR, so he was there in the aftermath. We were soldiers at the same time. I was an artillery officer and he was an enlisted tanker. This can also affect views.

  61. 61
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: Have you considered emailing Stephen Miller about these questions. I’m pretty sure he’s been thinking all this through since his sophomore year in high school.

  62. 62
    Doug R says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: So instead of a few thousand dead in Libya, we could have hundreds of thousands dead like Syria?

  63. 63
    tobie says:

    @Mnemosyne: So sorry to hear this. Good luck with the recovery and don’t overdo it.

  64. 64
    Suzanne says:

    So, as I drove down the I-10 this morning, I saw a sign that someone had put up behind the fence on an overpass. It read:

    TICK TOCK MTHRFCKR.

    I thought of y’all with great fondness and affection.

    Tick fucken tock.

  65. 65
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @B.B.A.: We don’t know what would have happened if we hadn’t intervened. People made the best decisions they could at the time.

  66. 66
    Gravenstone says:

    @James E Powell: Disappearing from the news does not equal disappearing from Mueller and company’s undivided attention. The fruits of their pleas and cooperation will doubtless rise to dominate the news cycle another day (and another, ad nauseum).

  67. 67
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: there are no good answers.

  68. 68
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Doug R: I believe in Just War Theory.

  69. 69
    Mnemosyne says:

    @tobie:

    The ice is working and the pain has now been downgraded to “sonovabitch!”

    I’m scheduled to take some more Aleve in about 90 minutes, but I may take it a little early.

  70. 70
    MomSense says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Sorry to hear you had a rough day.

  71. 71
    debbie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Weren’t you also running errands yesterday? Go easier on yourself.

  72. 72
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    No thanks. I want to avoid possible xenophobic undertones, not embrace them like Dead Eyes Miller. :p

  73. 73
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Maybe I have better benefits than you did? My doctor always said I should take 2 weeks off work after the surgery. After the previous surgery, I had to take 3 weeks off.

  74. 74
    West of the Rockies says:

    Adam, I know I’ve asked this sort of question previously, but is this move by Trump the kind of thing that could lead to the IC leaking something to “remind” Trump that he’d better play by the rules?

  75. 75
    jonas says:

    Can some lawyerly type explain how this is not obstruction of justice? Would that we could all release selectively declassified information to deflect public opinion from our crimes…

    I know we have to stop playing the “can you imagine if a Democrat…” game, but again, can you even begin to fathom the loads of shit that would be hitting fans from now until election day if a Democrat were doing this to the LE/IC on this scale. The mind reels.

  76. 76
    tobie says:

    @Mnemosyne: If it’s that bad, take the Aleve. My doctor told me you can take 3 tablets (600 mg) twice a day when you’re having major orthopedic problems. Just don’t do it on an empty stomach. Good luck dealing with this. Here’s hoping a good night’s rest will work miracles.

  77. 77
    TS (the original) says:

    Many thanks for the explanations Adam – my first thought – what is this fool doing to US security. That still remains, but your understanding cools it down a little. It seems every organization in the US has to suffer a downfall before this man is removed from power.

  78. 78
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @jonas:

    Can some lawyerly type explain how this is not obstruction of justice?

    I can’t, because it clearly is.

  79. 79
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Mnemosyne: Aleve plus vodka.

    Note: I am not a doctor.

  80. 80
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: I was working for the US Courts at the time. My insurance was amazeballs. Total out of pocket was about $250 – it was 1999 though.

  81. 81
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steve in the ATL: You are not a medical doctor. Just saying.

  82. 82
    NotMax says:

    @Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)

    Suggested reading:

    Superfolks by Robert Meyer
    George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards universe of stories/anthologies
    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon.

  83. 83
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I’m pretty sure you’re right. I admit I wanted to add a little of my spin on it by making the government more than just a faceless, evil antagonist through the use of a viewpoint character; an earnest investigative field agent perhaps who believes in what they’re doing.

    Speaking of which, Adam, what real life government agency would likely investigate magical crap? FBI? NSA? I’m genuinely curious. You know that stuff right?

  84. 84
    PJ says:

    @B.B.A.: So is oil the only thing we care to die for?

    The broader point is that alliances are not about whether we are prepared to die for country X, but whether those alliances serve strategic purposes in deterring behavior that ultimately we believe will be detrimental to our country. Chamberlain believed that Czechoslovakia was not worth fighting for, but he ended up going to war over Poland a year later, after 35 Czechoslovak divisions were eliminated and Hitler scooped up all their factories and used their tanks, planes, and artillery to invade Western Europe. (Some people say that Britain was not ready to fight in 1938, etc., but Hitler’s generals for sure believed they were not ready to fight in 1938, which is why they were prepared to kill him if he declared war then.) The US refused to participate in any alliances following WWI, and still got involved in WWII. NATO was founded because the men who fought WWII believed that alliances were necessary to keep the Germans down and the Russians out, and they were not wrong, notwithstanding the fact that few of them believed that Americans should die to save German lives. You can say tant pis to the Taiwanese and the Latvians, Estonians, and Lithuanians, but that won’t stop the Chinese or the Russians from demanding more territory, and when that happens, the US will have fewer allies to rely on.

  85. 85
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mnemosyne: Shit, I was out for seven or eight weeks after mine last year.

  86. 86
  87. 87
    randy khan says:

    @James E Powell:

    Amazing how Manafort & Cohen pleading & cooperating disappeared.

    For now.

  88. 88
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @PJ: England was mot ready to fight in 1938.

  89. 89
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Doug R: While Omnes can answer for himself, let me make a careful point or two here. And, as preface to them, I was involved in some of the theater strategy development for what the US led coalition has been doing in Syria and Iraq. Everything I’m going to write below can be found in open source news reporting on the US led coalition activities in 2018.

    Specifically, the US led coalition’s theater strategy is a by, with, and through strategy adapted from Special Operations and Unconventional Warfare. The point is to work with and empower our host country partners in Iraq and Syria in developing their capabilities to fight ISIS and, in the case of the Syrian host country partners, fight back against the Russian backed Syrian government’s military efforts. This theater strategy has included training, advising, and assisting our host country partners, as well as providing tactical and close air support and evacuation and direct and indirect fires to protect our personnel and those they’re training, advising, and assisting.

    There are two theater strategic operational problems right now in Syria. The first is that our host country partners, and the innocent Syrians just trying to survive in places like Idlib, actually need more direct, conventional support. What they are facing is not something that can be held off by US Special Forces (Green Beret) Operational Detachments Alpha (small teams/A teams) supported by a couple of USMC artillery batteries. That’s not what these maneuver elements are intended for. Right now they need a 24 hour/7 day a week coalition CAP with strike fighters and fighter bombers over head to deny flight to the Syrian and Russian Air Forces, as well as deny freedom of ground movement to the Syrian Arab Army and their Iranian militia and Hezbullah partners. On the ground this needs to be matched with at least one conventional brigade combat team, and if it is only one, then it should be plussed up with additional combined arms maneuver battalions. The second problem is that based on the President’s guidance, the US has been pulling resources out of Syria. Initially this was non-lethal Interagency humanitarian resources, which led to the local NGOs we were supporting and partnering with to either scale back or pull out as well. The US, because of the President’s guidance, has also pulled military assets out of the theater. There is no longer a Combined Joint Land Force Component Command. 10th Mountain Division was turned around and sent home within six weeks of taking over for the 1st Armored Division and this command responsibility was devolved back to Combined Joint Task Force Inherent Resolve.

    What we’re seeing right now is a slow motion build up for Russian backed Syrian forces to basically reduce Idlib and its surroundings. We have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to prevent what is a purposefully planned campaign of crimes against humanity and war crimes. The humanitarian crisis that is coming to Idlib can be prevented. All it takes is the will to do so. This is the whole point of the US military being expeditionary. We are expeditionary, we are out and engaged in the world and not stationed at home, in order to shape the global operating environment to prevent conflict and, when that fails, to leveraging that shaping to win whatever campaigns we undertake. Yes, there will be consequences. No, we won’t save everyone. Yes, it will cost us and our allies blood and treasure. But if we don’t step up and lead our allies and partners, then we are choosing to let innocents be slaughtered because we don’t always get it right. Because it might have future, negative follow on effects (professional tip: everything we do or don’t do has both future positive and negative follow on effects). We know what is coming. We know Putin will leverage the humanitarian crisis to further destabilize the Middle East and Europe. And we know we can prevent this.

    So do we do it or do we not do it? This is the strategist’s dilemma and the policy maker’s curse.

  90. 90
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Not. Fuck.

  91. 91
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Suzanne: That Yarrow guy is everywhere! He’s like where’s Waldo!

  92. 92
    PJ says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: And neither were the Germans. But the Czechoslovaks were. Who was more prepared to fight in 1939, the Germans or the British? Delaying the war by a year only made the German Army stronger, and eliminated an ally.

  93. 93
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @West of the Rockies: It is possible. I did suggest that could happen in the post up top. As I like to say, the IC will leak when it is to their strategic advantage.

  94. 94
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I don’t have the patience to type that.

  95. 95
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @PJ:

    Chamberlain believed that Czechoslovakia was not worth fighting for, but he ended up going to war over Poland a year later, after 35 Czechoslovak divisions were eliminated and Hitler scooped up all their factories and used their tanks, planes, and artillery to invade Western Europe. (Some people say that Britain was not ready to fight in 1938, etc., but Hitler’s generals for sure believed they were not ready to fight in 1938, which is why they were prepared to kill him if he declared war then.)

    Almost all of the extant evidence from British parliamentary and military reports and correspondence from Chamberlain and other British military and civilian officials at the time make it clear that Chamberlain, regardless of/despite what he said publicly, had chosen a strategy of time. Specifically, that he needed time for the British military to rebuild itself and prepare to fight the NAZIs as Britain was not militarily capable of doing so successfully in 1938. This did, unfortunately, sacrifice Czechoslavakia.
    http://www.slate.com/articles/.....venty.html

  96. 96
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax

    One more definite suggestion: The comics book series of Akira (not the movie*).
    Possibly also the comic book series Mai, the Psychic Girl.

    BTW, any similarities between Alan Moore’s Watchmen and the earlier novel Superfolks which I mentioned above are entirely intentional, as Moore has freely admitted.

    *Fine in its own right but a greatly differing unfolding of the story than in the original.

  97. 97

    Coming late to this thread. I found the Ryan Goodman tweet quoting the Politico article that neither the FBI nor the DOJ had any idea what was going on and this


    disturbing. I would not like to be working in any of those places right now. Without a presidential directive, I’m not sure what the legal situation is for the folks with the documents. Plus redacting things like names of sources or agencies seems prudent. The agencies might stall and insist on a presidential directive, fairly enough. This is like Wikileaks run amok.

  98. 98
    Fair Economist says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Germany wasn’t ready either. Germany improved its military more from 38 to 39 than the Allies did so delaying made things worse.

  99. 99
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Most ready? Not ready? We all need edit back real quick.

  100. 100
    Mnemosyne says:

    @tobie:

    I took 2 Aleve, and if it still hurts a bit when it’s closer to bedtime here on the West Coast, I’ll take a Tylenol, too. I slept very badly last night, so that’s probably not helping.

    @Gin & Tonic:

    You mean with your wrist, or did you also have a knee injury that I’m forgetting about? Wrists, hands, and shoulders all seem to require a big chunk of time off. Someone I know who broke her elbow had to take almost 6 months off work.

  101. 101
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It’s what you all aren’t paying me for.

  102. 102
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Thanks, Adam. I should have read more closely!

  103. 103
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Without a presidential directive, this isn’t going to happen. My guess is that DOJ and FBI plays for time until they get one.

  104. 104
    B.B.A. says:

    @PJ:

    So is oil the only thing we care to die for?

    We tried that and we didn’t even get any oil. If we’re going to spend trillions to have the biggest and most powerful military on earth and its only solid accomplishment in half a century is overthrowing the microstate of Grenada, what the hell is the point?

    Obviously Trump’s idiotic flailing is only making things worse.

  105. 105
    Gvg says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: so you have decided to be pro genocide? Anti human rights?
    I understand your point, but it would be immediately guilty of exactly what you think you should fear. That is tyranny. The extra powerful have human rights too AND remember that absolute power corrupts absolutely? If the normal majority started executing the special power humans, it would devolve into lynch mobs and witch hunts and excite a taste for blood in the general population. Leopards eating face party time.
    I think you are over stating the danger too. We learned to live with nuclear threats and bio threats and there will be other things. Mutants or wizards would cause social disruption, and then we would figure something out.
    Something involving being judged on actual individual crimes done, not potential, with courts and witnesses and enforcement.
    I don’t think this would be a good story. It’s just me, not everybody but I think I have read a few, then not bothered with any more. The superhumans are a threat storyline was interesting about three times, then it was boring. I don’t plan on becoming a hysterical threat killer. Seems to me that is what happened to some after 911 on Muslims.
    A more interesting story s how we might adapt our justice system. To me anyway.

  106. 106
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: we’ll double your pay!

  107. 107
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mnemosyne: No, that was my arm. I’ve had no knee issues, luckily.

  108. 108
    NotMax says:

    This selective releasing is the equivalent of striking a giant match to check the stores in the powder magazine.

  109. 109
    Amir Khalid says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:
    The FBI, of course. Two agents working out of a basement office in the Hoover Building, he a credulous maverick genius profiler and she a sceptical doctor/pathologist. Unresolved sexual tension optional.

  110. 110
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @B.B.A.: We had to get the med school students out before the volleyball tournament!

  111. 111
    Bill Arnold says:

    @?????? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ????:

    The story deals with magical and supernatural elements interacting with our world and generally fucking things up.

    Have you ever read Dune?
    http://dune.wikia.com/wiki/Bene_Gesserit

    Bene Gesserit (witches, of a sort, with superb mental/physical training) are behind-the-scenes very-long-game political manipulators:

    She nodded. “We have two chief survivors of those ancient schools: the Bene Gesserit and the Spacing Guild. The Guild, so we think, emphasizes almost pure mathematics. Bene Gesserit performs another function.” “Politics!” he said.
    “Kull wahad!” the old woman said. She sent a hard glance at Jessica.
    “I’ve not told him. Your Reverence,” Jessica said.
    The Reverend Mother returned her attention to Paul. “You did that on remarkably few clues,” she said. “Politics indeed. The original Bene Gesserit school was directed by those who saw the need of a thread of continuity in human affairs. …

    The Reverend Mothers have a continuity of memories of their series of ancestor Reverend Mothers, which increases the focus of the organization on longer time scales.
    Anyway, recommended. It has aged very well.
    Perhaps you’re going for supernatural beings awakened from slumbers or resurrected, or inept interventionists from another timeline (or whatever). That would be fine. There’s no particular reason that they would be inept though, particularly if they are smart and have some experience in intervention (e.g. INB’s The Culture).

  112. 112
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Great, I can afford to move into an extra large box over the steam grate…

  113. 113
    Amir Khalid says:

    @NotMax:
    And thus entirely compliant with Trump Administration standards re knowing what one is doing.

  114. 114
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: Not quite sure what went wrong, but I fixed that hyperlink mess.

  115. 115
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: When I was your age, we didn’t even have a box.

  116. 116
    PJ says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Be that as it may, the question remains, was it better for Britain to wait, because during that time the Germans would be building up as well. And, in the meantime, as Hitler is supposed to have said, “with dictatorships, nothing succeeds like success.” Capturing Czechoslovakia without firing a shot boosted German morale and sunk the morale of other countries in Europe. It led to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which also strengthened Germany, and the dismemberment of Poland. We can never know, but could a bloody German nose in 1938 have prevented WWII, or lessened the extent of its destruction?

    If we are unwilling to back up our alliances and enforce our treaties, as Trump seems wont to do, then we might as well be the French in 1938, or 1936, for that matter, when they did nothing when the Rhineland was remilitarized.

    I am no expert on any of this, so I defer to your judgment, but it seems to me that these kinds of questions were precisely why NATO was formed and, until people give up using violence as the means to attain political ends, why alliances will be necessary, and why they must be vigorously defended.

  117. 117
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @PJ: I’m not arguing that the US shouldn’t live up to its alliances. All I was doing was reinforcing what Chamberlain’s strategy was, and that he actually had one, rather than just the usual appeasement you see thrown about.

  118. 118
    danielx says:

    @Jeffro:

    Also: any enterprising young reporters out there want to ask GOP lawmakers YET. AGAIN. what they would do if a Democratic president under investigation pulled this shit? Would DC even still be standing?

    If that was the case, articles of impeachment would have been filed months ago. But I lived by that issue for a while, and it’s useless. Response from any Republican lawmaker would be (out loud) “I won’t talk about hypotheticals”, as you noted. Now, the other (unspoken) part: “and so what? People expect Republican presidents to be incompetent and semi-corrupt at this point, what’s a little narcissism on top of that? He’s getting our donors’ priorities right and the base loves him, so he’s untouchable. Not so for a Democrat.”

  119. 119
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Thanks! (Was pretty embarrassing :-)

  120. 120
    B.B.A. says:

    @Adam L Silverman: And what a glorious accomplishment that was.

  121. 121
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @B.B.A.: A vital national security priority!

  122. 122
    PJ says:

    @Adam L Silverman: point taken. I didn’t mean to imply that you were suggesting we give up our alliances, but that was someone above (or perhaps they were just quoting someone else) started the discussion.

  123. 123

    @Adam L Silverman: That is my guess, too. More rage-tweets at the Deep State!

  124. 124
    Doug R says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Aleve plus vodka.

    Note: I am not a doctor.

    Aleve is sodium naproxene, a Non-Steroidal-Anti-Inflammatory-Drug (NSAID) which can cause GI bleeding when taken with or close to alcohol. Best to wait a day or so between different “medications”.

  125. 125
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I would like that but likely won’t be able to work on any writing for a while since I’m in school right now. I’d like to ask you questions about story crafting and other such topics

  126. 126
    PJ says:

    @B.B.A.: Right, but that elides the issue of all the wars that were never started because other countries didn’t want to deal with the US or our allies, just as our invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq obscure what we could have done with our wealth and lives instead of flushing them down the toilet. Power is destructive if you use it stupidly and viciously, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be beneficial also.

  127. 127
    The Dangerman says:

    A couple beers into the night and someone else might have already posted this thought…

    …but this seems like a set of big cards to play to knock Kavanaugh or Flynn or Manafort off the front page.

    Something big is coming soon and this is preemptive. Almost last gasp. That’s my two beer read.

  128. 128
    Jay says:

    @Doug R:

    “Bottom Lines

    • The Conventional Wisdom Is Wrong. Libya’s 2011 uprising was never peaceful, but instead was armed and violent from the start. Muammar al-Qaddafi did not target civilians or resort to indiscriminate force. Although inspired by humanitarian impulse, NATO’s intervention did not aim mainly to protect civilians, but rather to overthrow Qaddafi’s regime, even at the expense of increasing the harm to Libyans.

    • The Intervention Backfired. NATO’s action magnified the conflict’s duration about sixfold and its death toll at least sevenfold, while also exacerbating human rights abuses, humanitarian suffering, Islamic radicalism, and weapons proliferation in Libya and its neighbors. If Libya was a “model intervention,” then it was a model of failure.

    • Three Lessons. First, beware rebel propaganda that seeks intervention by falsely crying genocide. Second, avoid intervening on humanitarian grounds in ways that reward rebels and thus endanger civilians, unless the state is already targeting noncombatants. Third, resist the tendency of humanitarian intervention to morph into regime change, which amplifies the risk to civilians.”

    https://www.belfercenter.org/publication/lessons-libya-how-not-intervene

    Casualty counts are coming up on 100,000 dead with no end in sight.

  129. 129
  130. 130
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: If this is taken, or someone in the White House reinforces it, as a straight on declassification order, not a declassification review and then release order, then they’ll just declassify, unredact, and release. I’m pretty sure that’s what the President and Huckabee-Sanders and Giuliani and Emmett Flood thinks they’ve ordered.

  131. 131
    Quinerly says:

    @The Dangerman: I’ll see your two beers a raise you a third. There’s a guy on my tee vee who says this is bigger than firing Comey.

  132. 132
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Dangerman: That is certainly a likely scenario.

  133. 133
    Wag says:

    @tobie:

    Three tabs of Aleve is too much. I think you are confusing Aleve and Advil. Aleve (naproxen 220 mg) has a max dose of TWO tabs (440 mg) twice daily. Advil (ibuprofen 200 mg) has a maximum dose of THREE or FOUR tabs (600-800 mg) three times daily.

  134. 134
    burnspbesq says:

    @Brachiator:

    If you haven’t done so already, consider donating to Andrew Janz, who is running against Nunes.

  135. 135
    Ruckus says:

    One of the tweets, from David Kris

    This is perhaps the signal feature of many of his worst actions — he seems assiduously to view and engage with everything through the straw-sized aperture of his own self-interest instead of the broader national interest

    He seems? He is a massive narcissist. Every single thing that he comes in contact with runs through his english to narcissist translation system and the answer is 100% of the time about him. Yes it may be a straw sized aperture that he looks at things with but the result is always the same. There is no other interest than self interest for the shitgibbon.

  136. 136
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Wag:

    Is there any particular reason to prefer naproxen over ibuprofen? Ibuprofen is my usual go-to pain reliever, but my ortho said to take naproxen instead, so I am.

    (Don’t worry, I know not to mix NSAIDs.)

  137. 137
    Geoboy says:

    @danielx: Given the number of public defections of Republican donors in this cycle (not just siting it out, but aiding Democrats), I’m sure Trump is even doing that part well. Of course they’ll be back to helping the Mitch McConnell’s of the world as soon as their precious tax cuts are taken away, but there may be a big enough Democratic wave that it’s too little, too late. Who said “We’re not going to out raise them, we’re going to out organize them”.

  138. 138
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @PJ: All this crap about “the Czechoslovaks were ready to fight” overlooks some rather large facts: (1) After the Anschluss the Germans had Bohemia & Moravia effectively surrounded, with a fractious Slovakia at their rear & their other “neighbors” (Hungary & Poland) hot to snag disputed territory from them; (2) the very solid border fortifications that were the keystone of Czechoslovak defense plans were all in regions where the indigenous populations were overwhelmingly Sudeten Germans; who (3) threatened to act as a fifth column disrupting those defenses (at a time when the concept was a hot item – the term “fifth column” originating just 2 years earlier during the Spanish Civil War). (Point #2 is the main reason why Hitler was able to annex the rest of Czechoslovakia the following year without firing a shot – the lands transferred to Germany at Munich were the ones containing those fortifications & the Czechs were essentially helpless without them.)

  139. 139
    Jay says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    “The Czechoslovak capitulation precipitated an outburst of national indignation. In demonstrations and rallies, Czechs and Slovaks called for a strong military government to defend the integrity of the state. A new cabinet—under General Jan Syrový—was installed, and on 23 September 1938 a decree of general mobilization was issued. The Czechoslovak army—modern and possessing an excellent system of frontier fortifications—was prepared to fight. The Soviet Union announced its willingness to come to Czechoslovakia’s assistance. Beneš, however, refused to go to war without the support of the Western powers.”

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_occupation_of_Czechoslovakia

    Had Military Treaties been honoured, it would have been Czechoslovakia, France, Romania and Yugoslavia vs. Germany.

  140. 140
    Mart says:

    Couple neighbors are retired secrete service, and a couple are retired FBI folks. Next door neighbor is a local police officer. All five of those deep state secret Democrats thinks my politics is a danger to the country, and Trump is great.

  141. 141
    Ruckus says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    One or the other works better for different people. It also depends on the cause of the pain.
    I find that naproxen works better for me than ibuprofen for muscle pain, joint inflammation and sinus headaches. 1 or 2 pills a day is enough, while I have to max out on ibuprofen to have much effect. At one point about 25 yrs ago I was taking up to 3200mg a day of ibuprofen for my knee and it wasn’t doing shit, so I stopped taking it. The pain subsided gradually over about 6 months and I just finished the bottle of ibuprofen I had about 6 months ago.
    BTW you can purchase ibuprofen and naproxen at Target/CVS much cheaper than the name brand stuff. Anyone that takes 81mg aspirin daily, they also sell 500 tabs for $7.

  142. 142
    Ruckus says:

    @Mart:
    Delusion is a funny thing. It can strike people at any time but some people are much more susceptible to it than others. Conservatives are one group that is very, very susceptible to any delusional falsehood. Especially one that liberals do not like. Delusional falsehoods are like Hagen Das oxygen flavor to them.

  143. 143
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Well of course! Shitgibbon is president today because journalism failed! The entire profession failed America in every possible way. So of course these cretins cling to the delusion hope that someday Shitgibbon will show some glimmer of even the most basic human decency so as to justify their malfeasance.

  144. 144
    Citizen Alan says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:

    McCain was the closest thing to it, and he’s dead.

Comments are closed.