Posted: February 3, 2018 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics

Pointman dissects the import of the Nunes memo, and the deeper malaise lurking behind its revelations.


With the publication of the FISA memo, you’re going to be getting finely detailed analyses, retrospective construction of the pertinent timelines, what’s actually in it and so on. Instead of following that route, I’d like to make some general observations, drawn from my own experiences dealing with similar but more modest situations, about how the events detailed in it could ever come about, who I think are the other culprits ducking furiously the fan-propelled ordure, the eternal question of what is to be done, and last but not least, what are the deeper implications of the insight America has just had into the inner workings of what President Trump rightly named the Washington swamp.

As usual, Trump has used the opportunity to its most devastating effect. It’s another Trump Zugzwang, with no non-damaging way out of it for the opposition. He’s been extremely careful to stay remote from its…

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  1. gallopingcamel says:

    Pointman understands the USA better than most of us who live here.

  2. Stephen Richards says:

    Great piece and quiet insightful

  3. Bloke down the pub says:

    The impact on US/UK relations, caused by the UK intelligence services’ involvement, is as yet undetermined.

  4. dscott says:

    I agree with the sentiment, however … except that the US Constitution defines Treason very narrowly.

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.


    The article from the Heritage Foundation says this:!/articles/3/essays/119/treason

    The word treason, as transmitted to the English language from the Latin through the French, means “giving or delivering up.” The common law understood treason as treachery or breach of faith. It was therefore a crime committed between parties who enjoyed an established relationship of mutual benefit and trust. Petit treason referred to a wife killing her husband, or a servant or ecclesiastic killing his lord or master. High treason involved a breach between subject and sovereign, a betrayal of (or neglect of duty or renunciation of allegiance to, in word or deed) a sovereign to whom a subject owes allegiance by birth or residence. Sir Edward Coke, Baron de Montesquieu, Sir Matthew Hale, and Sir William Blackstone considered treason the highest of crimes and declared that it must be precisely defined to prevent its abuse by governmental authorities. In England, commencing during the reign of Edward III, Parliament narrowed the definition of treason but later widened it according to political exigencies.

    The laws of the American colonies reflected the broad outlines of the common law of England, both as to breadth of the offense and severity of punishment, though sometimes the definitions of treason in the colonies were broader than those in England. By the eighteenth century, laws began more consistently to reflect the English law of treason, and eventually, during the revolutionary period, came to require more precise definitions, more exacting standards of proof, and more lenient punishments. During the Revolution, many states adopted language recommended by the Continental Congress and its “Committee on Spies,” defining treason as adherence to the king of Great Britain (including accepting commissions from him) or to other “Enemies,” giving them “Aid and Comfort.”

    Reflecting the American Founders’ concern with protecting individual rights and their fear of arbitrary governmental power, the Framers of the Constitution sought a precise and permanent definition of treason, the permissible means of proving it, and the limitations on the punishment for it…

    Now in your country, Britain, I believe but not sure, interfering in the orderly transfer of power or attempting via deceit to unseat the lawful government is treason, but you will have to inform me of this. In the US, this act is malfeasance of office and the manner of the malfeasance abusing the office is another separate crime. What these people did is considered a felony in the US, a crime that incurs prison time in excess of one year.

    In our system, a misdemeanor is a crime whose sentence is less than one year and you serve that time in jail, whereas a crime whose sentence is over a year is a felony and that time is served in prison.

  5. J Martin says:

    I am most dissapointed to hear that treason does not apply to the people involved.

    It is clear that a conspiracy to pervert the outcome of the election took place. That being so teams of investigators should have been sent into the relevant governmental departments and all persons of interest should have been arrested or suspended from work and all their documents, emails and computers seized.

    It seems to me that given the glacial pace of this that those involved are being given plenty of time to shred or delete any incriminating evidence. I would be surprised if the American authorities ever manage to convict anyone over this.

    Few people doubt that the swamp murdered president Kennedy, will they be stupid enough to attempt a repeat ? If I were in Trump’s shoes I would send the army in to take over, by force if necessary, the CIA, FBI, DNS and perhaps several other departments.

  6. Paul Vaughan says:

    Getting lost in infinite details of IRRECONCILABLE Western infighting does NOT lead to the stable path.

  7. michael hart says:

    “J Martin says:
    February 4, 2018 at 6:46 pm
    […] That being so teams of investigators should have been sent into the relevant governmental departments and all persons of interest…”

    The problem is that the most significant corruption revealed by this, is the government department whose job it is to investigate corruption. It couldn’t get much worse. It’s only climate science that usually gets to say “It’s worse than we thought”…

  8. Paul Vaughan says:

    Cheeseburger Balance…

    Because of burgers he puts cheese on,
    Open season of T-reason.

    For the Republican head,
    Just TV in bed.

    In Mr. T,
    Russia you’ll see!!!

    Makes sense?
    Mr. Pence?

    For sacred ends,
    Justice bends.

  9. philjourdan says:

    @GallopingCamel – I agree. That is one of the reasons I enjoy his blog so much. He has a keen insight that most Americans either do not care to achieve, or willfully ignore.

  10. gallopingcamel says:

    The fish rots from the head so the vast majority of the staff at the FBI and DOJ will be relieved when the corrupt top level executives resign or are fired.

    The same thing may apply for most of the Three Letter Agencies. This may be a good time to completely restructure the TLAs and maybe eliminate a bunch of them and especially those that resist congressional oversight.

  11. oldbrew says:

    Finally – Proof Of Russian Collusion
    Posted on February 6, 2018 by tonyheller

    The ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence committee (Adam Schiff) was caught colluding with Russians to obtain dirt on the President of the United States. According to Adam Schiff, this is treason.


  12. Blazeaway says:

    I wish we, the British, had someone so dedicated to policing our own constitutional values in common law, as Trump.

    I have little doubt that the British swamp is at least as deep.

    Best wishes to President Trump.