Thursday, May 31, 2018

The True Meaning of the Pentagon Papers

What if they had then decided to make political use of the documents by publishing them in the Chicago Tribune or the Manchester Union Leader? With the precedent of the Pentagon Papers decisions, it would have been impossible now to prevent the publication of those papers.

The Pentagon Papers had also been obtained in violation of the law, and Chief Justice Warren Burger had believed that there could be no right to publish stolen papers.

For the swing judges, the decision would be contingent upon a reading of the papers and a judgment as to whether they contained material that could endanger military operations or diplomacy or the lives of American agents abroad. The reading of the papers was utterly necessary to reaching a judgment.

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes had famously declared: "Great cases, like hard cases, make bad law." And on that point, there has been no clearer example than the Pentagon Papers case.

In the case of the Pentagon Papers, the aim might have been merely to restrain the publication long enough so that agents of the government could review the papers.

There seemed to be a new urgency about getting those papers published, an urgency that had not been felt when the Times was carefully working on its dramatic release of the papers.

Is it anywhere taught in the schools of law that, in Snepp, the Supreme Court essentially repudiated its reasoning in the Pentagon Papers case? Has it been noticed that the reasoning in Snepp might even have overruled the decision in the classic case on "Prior restraints," Near v. Minnesota? For that matter, is it ever told in the law books-or the movies-that the Court, in the Pentagon Papers case, produced no law, but only a decision to withhold the injunction, though the judges could not even amass a majority to explain the reasons that would justify that judgment? Yet here we are: the Pentagon Papers case is celebrated as a landmark legal decision, and Steven Spielberg has now commemorated it on the big screen. 

Trump refugee nominee demanded reparations from DACA recipients

President Trump 's nominee to head the State Department's office for refugees wrote last year that recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program should pay restitution to Americans for illicit use of Social Security numbers.

Ronald Mortensen, a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies and former foreign service officer, was tapped by Trump last week to head the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

At CIS, Mortensen promoted a link between undocumented immigrants and identity theft.

Mortensen has argued that most undocumented immigrants, in order to work, use false or stolen Social Security numbers to obtain employment.

In October, he wrote that DACA recipients should pay reparations to American victims of identity theft in order to receive the program's benefits.

Mortensen did not respond to a request for comment made through CIS. If confirmed to the refugee position by the Senate, Mortensen would head the agency tasked with humanitarian assistance to people displaced by conflict and other natural or man-made disasters.

Todd Schulte, president of, a Facebook-funded immigration advocacy organization, called it "Troubling" that Mortensen would be nominated to a position after spreading "Falsehoods on immigration." 

Gowdy Never Saw Subpoenaed Records Before Exonerating FBI Spy Use

Rep. Trey Gowdy recently suggested the FBI did nothing wrong when it used at least one government informant to secretly collect information on Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

Public reports indicate that Gowdy never even reviewed the relevant documents on the matter subpoenaed by Congress.

A spokeswoman for Gowdy told The Federalist that the congressman doesn't even know what documents and records were subpoenaed by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Although Gowdy intimated that the information he received in a briefing last week made clear the FBI did nothing wrong, numerous reports from multiple news outlets indicated that the lawmakers DOJ invited to the briefing were not given access to all of the records HPSCI subpoenaed.

When asked by The Federalist whether Gowdy had seen all the documents Congress requested, a spokeswoman for Gowdy repeatedly declined to say what, if any, subpoenaed records Gowdy had reviewed during the roughly hour-long briefing.

CNN's Jake Tapper tweeted, "Gowdy refutes Trump, Nunes, Fox 'spy' conspiracy." ABC News similarly alleged that Gowdy was "Disputing Pres. Trump's unsubstantiated claim the Obama administration used spy to infiltrate his campaign."

The claims that Gowdy had somehow "Refuted" allegations that the FBI used at least one informant to spy on the Trump operation are in direct conflict with confirmed reporting from The New York Times and Washington Post that the FBI did use at least one individual to secretly collect information against the Trump campaign for use in the bureau's anti-Trump investigative efforts.

Val and Al: MSNBC's Real Teachable Moment

There at Valerie Jarrett's side as she talked about this episode as a "Teachable moment" was - one can't make this up - Al Sharpton.

Here, American Spectator fans, are the Al Sharpton tapes.

Don't miss MSNBC star Sharpton's "Greek homo" routine, here.

Or MSNBC star Sharpton's "Apology" for inflaming a Harlem racial situation by going on about a "White interloper" here.

"Sharpton has been"enthusiastically embraced by President Obama.

A perusal of the White House visitor log - which shows 61 visits by Sharpton since 2009 - illustrates the extraordinary access Sharpton has had to the president and his top advisers.

"Thirty-four of Sharpton's visits were for White House events like high-profile nominations, bill signings, and soirées. Some, like the February 9, 2010,"Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement," seem well within Sharpton's wheelhouse.

Will MSNBC dump Sharpton in the wake of the Roseanne episode? Of course not.

In the case of Valerie Jarrett, MSNBC, and Sharpton? 

When Congress Doesn't OK Government Rules, Both Ranchers and Conservationists Suffer

Until the Trump administration submits Obama-era land use rules to Congress for approval, those regulations aren't actually in effect and can't be enforced to protect a chicken-like bird in 10 Western states, a legal group argues.

The law calls for regulatory agencies to submit every rule to both houses of Congress and the Government Accountability Office before the rules can go into effect.

The rules remain burdensome and problematic because for historic reasons most ranchers depend upon access to public land for a living, and the federal government controls most of the land in Western states, he said.

The agencies' unlawful failure to submit the sage grouse rules has deprived Congress of its best opportunity to review-and strike down-the rule.

Larkin, a senior legal research fellow with The Heritage Foundation who has written extensively on the Congressional Review Act, said he is pleased to see members of Congress reasserting their authority over agencies by sinking rules they view as misguided.

One involves a set of rules the Trump administration would like to see overturned; another involves rules that are viewed as beneficial but are in need of congressional approval.

Wood said the Kansas case demonstrates that the problem of noncompliance with the Congressional Review Act isn't limited to enforcement of controversial rules that Congress likely would strike down if given the opportunity. 

Obama Administration Investigation Aimed at Trump Campaign

I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts.... That is an unambiguous declaration that the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign.

We'll come momentarily to the closely connected question of whether Trump can be airbrushed out of his own campaign - I suspect the impossibility of this feat is why Gowdy is resistant to discussing the Trump campaign at all.

Since the Obama administration was using its counterintelligence powers, the political-spying issue boils down to whether the Trump campaign was being monitored.

Second, if Gowdy has been paying attention, he must know that, precisely because the Trump campaign was under investigation, top FBI officials had qualms of conscience over Comey's plan to give Trump a misleading assurance that he personally was not under investigation.

Just one day earlier, at the White House, Comey and then-acting attorney general Sally Yates had met with the political leadership of the Obama administration - President Obama, Vice President Biden, and national-security adviser Susan Rice - to discuss withholding information about the Russia investigation from the incoming Trump administration.

Clearly, the Obama officials did not want Trump to know the full scope of their investigation of his campaign.

In support of the neon-flashing fact that the Trump campaign was under investigation when the Obama administration ran an informant at it, there is much more than former Director Comey's testimony.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Separating Kids at Border: The Truth

Some economic migrants are using children as chits, but the problem is fixable - if Congress acts.

The latest furor over Trump immigration policy involves the separation of children from parents at the border.

Over the last decade, the flow has shifted to women, children, and family units from Central America.

In no circumstance anywhere in the U.S. do the marshals care for the children of people they take into custody.

Some migrants have admitted they brought their children not only to remove them from danger in such places as Central America and Africa, but because they believed it would cause the authorities to release them from custody sooner.

Others have admitted to posing falsely with children who are not their own, and Border Patrol officials say that such instances of fraud are increasing.

Because we favor family units over single adults, we are creating an incentive to do the opposite and use children to cut deals with smugglers.