Speculations Are Open

We’ve all been wondering about the subject of the whistleblower complaint being withheld by Acting DNI Joseph Maguire from the House Select Intelligence Committee.

Tonight, Washington Post has a hint for us. Twitter is exploding with speculation, and why should they be the only ones?

From Adam Schiff’s letter to Maguire, it can be surmised that the incident that provoked the whistleblower’s concern had to do with someone in the White House.

From WaPo:

The whistleblower complaint that has triggered a tense showdown between the U.S. intelligence community and Congress involves President Trump’s communications with a foreign leader, according to two former U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

Trump’s interaction with the foreign leader included a “promise” that was regarded as so troubling that it prompted an official in the U.S. intelligence community to file a formal whistleblower complaint with the inspector general for the intelligence community, said the officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

What was the “promise”? And which foreign leader?

Have at it. Here are some tweets.








Adam Schiff Writes A Letter

The Friday night news dump was unusually late this week.

Adam Schiff, Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, wrote a letter to Joseph Maguire, Acting Director of National Intelligence. Read it – it’s short and to the point.

A whistleblower in the Intelligence Community disclosed a concern to the DNI intended for the congressional intelligence committees on August 12. The Intelligence Community Inspector General then determined that the concern was both urgent and credible. At that point, Maguire had seven days to turn the material over to the House and Senate Intelligence committees. The deadline was September 2. He didn’t.

It looks like Schiff has also requested the material from Maguire. That would mean he heard about it through another channel, possibly notified by the IC IG.

Maguire also consulted the Department of Justice (corrupt William Barr) on whether he should turn the material over. That consultation is not allowed by the law; he’s just supposed to turn the material over.

His basis for not turning the material over is that

the complaint involves conduct by someone outside the Intelligence Community and because the complaint involves confidential and potentially privileged communications.

That describes people who are most likely to be trying to do something bad, like spies, and of course confidential information would be part of it. No point to whistleblowing on something that’s been in the news. “Potentially privileged” might suggest presidential communications. Like other legal arguments the administration makes, it boils down to “No, we don’t want to disclose and will use an utterly transparent excuse.”

Schiff puts all that together

Schiff wants the material by Tuesday, emphasizing that it is an urgent matter. If Maguire doesn’t come up with it, Schiff wants him in front of the committee by Thursday. He also says that the whistleblower had better be protected from reprisal. Good luck with that.

I can imagine a great many possibilities for the content of the complaint, but that’s because there is so little information and the administration is so corrupt.

Next week should be interesting.

 

Cross-posted to Nuclear Diner

 








How To Ruin A Turkey Sandwich/More Respite Open Thread

So, this image showed up in my messages:

 

I’m just hoping this isn’t a Betty Cracker creation already featured here that in my semester-starting-addled brain I somehow forgot.

Anyway: here’s a chance to talk about anything to do w. abuse of or abusive foodstuffs — or anything else that whets your appetite.








Monday Morning Open Thread: Gonna Be Another Long Week


 
Overlooked (among the chaos) story of the weekend:


 
Also:


(Could be worse, after all — we could be forced, by some unfortunate confluence of malign forces, to be working for the GOP… )








Open Thread: The Toddler-in-Chief Will *Never* Stop Talking About Alabama

If proof were needed that the conspiracy theories about HAARP are complete bullshite, the fact that Trump hasn’t busted out the weather-altering technology to force Dorian to threaten Alabama would be it. At least it’s great fodder for comic geniuses like David Roth:

It can be difficult to remember given that he routinely appears on television with toilet paper on the soles of both his shoes and at least one of his hands stuck in a big jug of peanut butter, but Donald Trump’s opening position in all things is that he has never been wrong. He has been wronged, and is in fact wronged constantly—by terrible nasty TV actresses and fake cable news anchors and the other antagonists he’s collected over a lifetime of nonstop blowsy public feuding. But that is just the price he pays for always being right and never being afraid to speak out on whatever he has just seen on television. He carries that weight lightly, give or take the fact that he whines about it constantly. There is an entire cable television network devoted to telling this story over and over again, and every day Trump parks his ass in front of it and watches embalmed-looking septuagenarian newsreader types talk about how correct he is and heatedly demand apologies on his behalf, for hours on end. It’s the treatment that he has always believed he deserves…

The issue here is not that Trump doesn’t believe in things like truth and untruth; he absolutely believes that some things are true and other things are false, but what makes them true or false to him is grounded entirely in how he feels about them. Once a belief is lodged in the sodden Nerf of his brain it becomes true to him, and remains that way forever. These things tend, if anything, to become more true over time, or at least become larger. There is probably some latent impulse from his days as a real estate huckster that powers this—in the same way that he once added floors to the oafish towers he developed, he now adds years or billions to the oafish tales he tells from the front of his trade war with China. It also cannot be ruled out that the guy just likes saying large numbers. When Trump authors one of his really avant-garde falsehoods, it’s this impulse that’s generally behind it. He just likes things to be big, if possible “much bigger many say than anything that we’ve ever seen” but always and everywhere as big as he can get away with making them.

And then, eventually, even bigger than that. This was a problem last week, when Trump took one of his favorite parts of the presidency—the constitutionally enumerated power to tell everyone about the weather, and how large it looks like it might be—too far. Hurricane Dorian, which is indeed big and terrible, was moving towards the southeastern United States at the time, and the forecast called for moderate-to-large amounts of destruction in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Trump evidently found this insufficient…