Wednesday 25th of November 2020

in bad company...

in bad company...

A US judge ruled last week that Bolton can proceed with the publication of his book, but that he had potentially exposed himself to criminal liability by violating his non-disclosure agreement.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has compared John Bolton, Trump’s former foreign policy hawk gone rogue, to whistleblower Edward Snowden and threatened him with legal action over the upcoming publication of his memoir.

“The information that he’s released puts criminal liability squarely on him,” Pompeo toldFox News’ Sean Hanity on Monday.

“We all saw what’s happened when people leak classified information like Edward Snowden. What John Bolton did here is not dissimilar from that, and while we will leave open for the Justice Department to take its action, this kind of information getting out – it presents real risk and real harm to the United States of America.”

“The president and others, myself included, had to cut him out of meetings," Pompeo said of Bolton, “because he was leaking or he would twist things or he’d lie.”

Snowden famously leaked top-secret documents from the eavesdropping National Security Agency, which exposed mass surveillance programmes run by the US government and its allies. He has been hiding out in Russia for seven years now and is wanted in the United States on espionage charges.

John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, was ousted from office last September over disagreements with the president regarding foreign policy. There has been word that the hardline Iran policy ideologue specifically clashed with Trump over the president’s suggestion to ease sanctions against the country.

The Room Where It Happened, a tell-all book about Bolton’s White House stint, is scheduled to come out on 23 June. It alleges that foreign leaders hold Trump in low regard and try to manipulate him, while the president is obsessed with re-election and has tailored his foreign policy to help him win the second term.

Mike Pompeo was cited in the book as calling Donald Trump “so full of sh*t”, a charge he strongly denied. Both Pompeo and Trump have claimed the book is made up of “lies” and “falsehoods”.

The Justice Department last week tried to halt the release, citing unlawful disclosure of classified information. The White House also accused Bolton of failing to complete a pre-publication review process which is required for some government officials writing about their service.

Bolton’s attorney argued that the book went through a pre-publication review by career White House official Ellen Knight. According to the lawyer, however, the administration never sent a final approval letter clearing the book but told publishers to go ahead anyway.

Meanwhile, the White House opened an additional review of the manuscript by a National Security Council official, Michael T. Ellis, who claimed to have identified at least six examples of classified information there.


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biden will solve the world's problem by falling asleep...



According to the most recente survey by Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is currently leading over President Donald Trump in the run-up to the November election. However, there are still more than four months ahead of the national vote. 

A number of Republicans who previously served as US national security officials under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush are currently forming a coalition to publicly back Joe Biden in the upcoming election, anonymous sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The group will reportedly include "at least two dozen officials" who will publicly oppose Donald Trump’s re-election bid, suggesting that it would "endanger" US national security. According to the report, the initiative is co-authored by two former staffers in the George W. Bush administration: John Bellinger III, former legal adviser to the National Security Council and State Department, and Ken Wainstein, the 43rd president’s homeland security adviser.

Robert Blackwill, who served as US Ambassador to India from 2001 to 2003 and US National Security Council Deputy for Iraq from 2003 to 2004, is also reportedly expected to join the group. All three former officials have previously publicly opposed Donald Trump’s candidacy. Some other officials, not previously involved in national security matters, may also take part in the initiative, sources say.

The group's public endorsement of Biden is expected to be announced in the upcoming weeks, possibly after the Democratic National Convention in August, when the former US vice president will be formally endorsed as the Democratic Party's presidential candidate.

There is yet another prominent group publicly voicing its opposition to Trump’s re-election, the Lincoln Project, a "political action committee" co-founded by George T. Conway III, the husband of Kellyanne Conway, who is Trump’s presidential counselor.

According to Donald Trump, his approval rating in the Republican Party is currently 96%. The US president, however, has drawn sharp criticism from some Republican figures in recent weeks over his handling of the ongoing protests in the United States following the death of George Floyd and the coronavirus pandemic, with the former secretary of state under George W. Bush, Colin Powell, publicly announcing his support for Joe Biden in the November election.

Trump is now facing a challenge from Joe Biden in the upcoming vote, as the presumptive Democratic nominee is said to be leading over him in national polls by 12 points, a six-point jump from last month. This comes as more than 60% of Americans surveyed in a Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll said that Joe Biden would be a better candidate for solving issues related to race and policing.


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pardon for snowden?...

Trump Says He’ll Look Into a Pardon for Edward Snowden

The remarks seemed to be a shift for President Trump, who repeatedly called Mr. Snowden a “traitor” and “spy who should be executed” in the years before his election.

President Trump said on Saturday that he would consider pardoning Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who faced criminal charges after leaking classified documents about vast government surveillance.


“There are many, many people — it seems to be a split decision — many people think that he should be somehow be treated differently and other people think he did very bad things,” Mr. Trump said during a news conference at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. “I’m going to take a very good look at it.”


The remarks signal a shift for the president, who repeatedly denigrated Mr. Snowden as a “traitor” and a “spy who should be executed” in the years before his election. The disclosures by Mr. Snowden, who sought asylum in Russia in 2013, set off a broad debate about surveillance and privacy.


Critics have accused Mr. Snowden of treason for revealing classified information while privacy and civil liberties advocates have praised him for exposing the scope of the government’s surveillance programs, which included sweeping up phone records of Americans citizens and eavesdropping on foreign leaders.

Speculation about a pardon for Mr. Snowden has grown over the past week after the president commented on the case in an interview with the The New York Post on Thursday. “There are a lot of people that think that he is not being treated fairly,” Mr. Trump said in the interview. “I mean, I hear that.”


For Mr. Snowden, a pardon would be a chance to return to the United States. In 2013, he was charged with violating the Espionage Act, which carries a prison sentence. As long as he faces those charges, Mr. Snowden has said he will not return to the United States. Human rights groups previously urged President Barack Obama to pardon Mr. Snowden, but they had no success.


Also on Saturday, Mr. Trump, asked whether he still had confidence in the leadership of Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, appeared to mock his Pentagon chief.


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If I was Snowden, I would be very cautious. Once pardonned, the US can slap him with new charges as they've done with Manning... Meanwhile the hypocrisy of the Australian government continues...