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This Memorial Day may be a good time for Americans to ask ourselves: Do we still deserve our freedom? I’m not talking about our slumping economy nor even descrying our media’s unblinking distortion of issues from our porous southern border to the perfidy of Hillary Clinton. But today we are seeing the tumultuous confluence of two basic decisions reached nearly 50 years ago: the “right” of abortion decided by Roe v Wade in 1973; and the adoption of the All-Volunteer Force (AVF) in 1974. While each choice was made separately, their protagonists could hardly have imagined how those separate choices would evolve to create twin challenges to our way of life.  

 Barely a year apart, two fundamental norms of American life had changed. The right of an unborn infant to live was now outweighed by the right of the mother to choose life or death for her baby. The historical obligation of the American citizen for wartime service had also changed, now becoming a career choice like pursuing orthodontics or agri-business. The rationales were correspondingly different. Abortion, whether or not guaranteed by the Constitution, needed to be safe and legal; the Vietnam-era draft simply needed to end. Fifty years later, we have an expensive, professional military in which less than half of one (>0.5) percent of Americans defend the other 99%. The death toll since Roe v Wade: at least 60 million infants although no one knows for sure.

As one of the last draftees, my reprieve came too late. But ten years into the AVF experiment, I served on the West Point faculty, once moderating a campus-wide debate on the role of women, The contending advocates: conservative doyenne Phyllis Schlafly versus Sarah Weddington, victorious counsel in Roe V. Wade. Even in West Point’s disciplined environment, the debate was a raucous affair; but at least our cadets witnessed the emotions and intricacies of the constitutional process they would soon defend.

 But for me that argument was settled forever the next year, when our newly adopted 4-day-old daughter wrapped her entire hand around my little finger. I was thankful beyond words that her birth mother, finding herself “in trouble,” decided to protect this new life, choosing to set aside every lesser consideration.  Thirty years later, a father’s emotions still run strong looking into her eyes and each of my three grand-sons!

Meanwhile, the Army kept getting smaller, post-Cold War reductions leaving the active force with a half-million soldiers. But then came the shock of 9/11. The voluminous memoirs of President George W. Bush, his vice-president, and his secretaries of State and Defense reveal a stunning omission: None of them apparently asked whether the AVF could sustain a long conflict. Rather than mobilizing the nation for war, the National Guard and Reserves were dragooned for extended overseas tours. Ordinary Americans were encouraged to return to the shopping malls or college campuses. “So your kid goes to Kandahar while mine goes to Yale. So what’s your point?”   

With the War on Terror dragging  on for almost 20 years, manpower became even more scarce and expensive. Meeting combat requirements meant sending the troops back for multiple combat tours to various hell-holes. Not only were our soldiers running exponential risks of PTSD, but they were also becoming increasingly isolated from American society as a segregated warrior caste. And what happened when these Other People’s Kids returned home as veterans? Although the Veterans Administration is unsure of the exact numbers, they estimate that 17-20 veterans commit suicide each day.·

As you may have noticed, the United States is now involved in two separate Cold Wars but is seriously outmanned in each. (Air Force pilots describe this condition as “discovering you’re out of airspeed, altitude and ideas.”) Making matters even worse are our internal contradictions, voices from the left made even more strident by the prospect that Roe v Wade may be reversed. Listening to them, one ponders our national responsibility for the Holocaust of the Unborn, those Other People’s Kids now being aborted.

As I write these words, my friends and neighbors in Uvalde Texas are grief-stricken by the senseless slaughter of 19 elementary school students and 2 teachers by a gun-toting monster quickly dispatched by local law enforcement. Might this latest outrage finally move our secular, prodigal nation to lower our voices, bow our heads and pray for God’s forgiveness? 

 

If Special Counsel John Durham hadn’t obtained the Perkins Coie billing records showing attorney Michael Sussmnn billed Hillary’s campaign for his FBI visit, he might not have had a case. Those billing records prove Sussmann was indeed working for a client when he pointedly told the FBI he wasn’t.

On Wednesday, Durham's prosecution team introduced them into evidence.

https://nypost.com/2022/05/25/michael-sussmann-billed-clinton-camp-on-day-he-talked-with-fbi/

In the entry for September 19, 2016, the date of Sussmann’s meeting with FBI general counsel James Baker, Hillary For America is listed as the client. The time allotted is 3.3 hours, and the description is “work and communication regarding confidential project.” He’d originally logged it as 4.5 hours but scaled it back.

I wonder how much this top DC attorney was billing by the hour for such a shady bit of business. We know Perkins Coie pocketed nearly $12 million from the DNC, Hillary For America, and (yes) from Obama’s group Organizing For Action to hire Fusion GPS to create faux-Russian dirt. With so many middle men to hide the source of the “dossier,” all of them taking their cut, ex-spy Christopher Steele was paid a measly $168,000 for his determined gossip-gathering and fiction-writing. Here’s that story from AMERICAN THINKER; notice it goes all the way back to November 2017. You and I have known the real story behind the fake “dossier” for SO LONG.

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/11/so_the_steele_dossier_was_bought_cheap_what_did_the_other_12_million_pay_for.html

By the way, guess who else was paying Fusion GPS for fake evidence against Trump? The hilariously-named Democracy Integrity Project, funded by...(drum roll, please)...George Soros. I am not kidding –- here’s the story from last year. This group is run by Daniel Jones, former intelligence staffer for California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein. He’s the one who contracted with Fusion GPS and Steele.

https://thefederalist.com/2021/11/30/soros-funded-disinformation-group-paid-nearly-1-million-more-to-creators-of-steele-dossier-disinformation-operation/

Bonchie at RedState says the billing statement obtained by Durham proves Sussmann lied when he said –- and texted –- that he was a concerned citizen rather than a paid advocate, but he goes further to say “it shows that Clinton herself, as leader of her campaign, didn’t just approve the false story going to the media, but also to the FBI.”

As we discussed yesterday, there’s a huge difference, legally, between taking phony evidence to the media and taking it to the FBI, and witnesses have been careful to link her only with the media campaign. Presenting fake evidence to the FBI to frame someone is a crime. And we just didn’t buy the idea that Sussmann would’ve gone to the FBI behind Hillary’s back and then billed her for the meeting! In other words, Hillary had to know.

The candidate is ultimately in charge of his or her own campaign. (“I’m so-and-so, and I approved this message.”)  Robby Mook, as campaign manager, answered to Hillary. Sussmann, as attorney for the campaign, answered to Hillary. And we know, if anyone insists on running everything she can get her hands on, it’s Hillary Clinton. The jury might be too biased to even care, but you and I know she approved Sussmann’s FBI visit.

Bonchie concurs, and says, “...the fact that the Hillary campaign hatched a false conspiracy theory and fed it to the FBI for political gain is overwhelming.”

https://redstate.com/bonchie/2022/05/25/durham-brings-the-literal-receipts-connecting-the-alfa-bank-conspiracy-to-hillary-clinton-n569767

He sees Sussmann as “the first shoe that must drop” on the path towards Hillary. This step is “another direct link to Hillary herself,” he says. Of course, with a jury stacked in Sussmann’s favor, conviction is far from assured, no matter how strong the evidence. But what Durham is really doing is putting a story together, and all the major thoroughfares and interesting side routes lead back to Hillary.

Yesterday, we reported on FBI official Curtis Heide’s testimony that the ‘Justice’ Department was listed in the opening document as the origin of the Alfa Bank “evidence,” not just an “anonymous third party” (Sussmann), and that this was due to a “paperwork error.” Legal analyst Andrew McCarthy told the WASHINGTON EXAMINER, “This investigation opening document is totally outrageous. It not only claims that the information came from the Justice Department. It suggests that the Justice Department commissioned and may even vouch for the ‘white paper,’ when they hadn’t.

Nick Arama at RedState does not believe it was a “paperwork error.” He says, “So, the excuse is that he [Heide] doesn’t even know the basic structure or breakdown of the FBI and the DOJ? What do these guys take us for, fools?” Arama suggests we “grab the popcorn,” as there is more to come.

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/05/24/fbi-agent-at-sussmann-trial-just-dropped-a-bomb-about-an-ongoing-investigation-n569303

As for Wednesday, after addressing the billing records and whether they indeed reflect that meeting, the prosecution rested its case, and it was time for the defense to call witnesses. The defense wants to show that the FBI was well aware Sussmann was representing Hillary For America. The FOX News story linked to below has details on the witnesses they called to create doubt in the jurors’ minds.

Example: A project assistant at the firm representing Sussmann --- Democrat legal powerhouse Latham and Watkins --- was called to the stand and asked to comment on a chart that showed various internal FBI documents that referred to Sussmann as working for the Hillary campaign, the DNC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). Of course, they could be well aware of his Democrat connections and still be lied to by Sussmann about the purpose of that particular visit. But that’s about all the defense can do.

The claims the defense is making now are in direct conflict with what James Baker testified last week. Baker said he remembered with 100 percent certainty that Sussmann told him he was not there on behalf of any client. And, of course, Sussmann had already texted him the same thing. Why would Sussmann say that if he knew the FBI already believed he was working for Hillary?

We still don’t know if Sussmann will take the stand in his own defense. FOX News has reported that it depends on whether the judge will bar prosecutors from questioning him about pre-indictment negotiations between his counsel and Special Counsel John Durham’s office. They don’t want prosecutors asking him about materials that were submitted to the government before charges against him were filed. These probably would have been materials submitted to try to persuade Durham not to indict Sussmann. Apparently, these did not work, and now our curiosity is peaked.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/sussmann-may-testify-trial-pending-judge-durham-trump-russia

If Sussmann chooses to testify, that will likely be Thursday, with closing arguments to begin Tuesday, after Memorial Day. If he decides not to testify, closing arguments would likely begin Thursday, and the trial might even be over this week. I have the sneaking suspicion that this judge will rule whichever way leads to the choice Sussmann prefers to make.

In the meantime, law professor Jonathan Turley has an excellent question for us to ponder: Given that researchers were practically ridiculing the bogus data that Sussmann gave to the FBI, why were James Comey and the rest of the 7th Floor so “fired up” (agent Joe Pienkta’s testimony) that they demanded a FULL INVESTIGATION! I think we know.

https://jonathanturley.org/2022/05/25/fbi-agent-comey-and-other-leadership-were-fired-up-to-pursue-the-false-alfa-bank-claims/#more-189132

Tuesday, there were primary elections in Georgia, Arkansas and Alabama, runoffs in Texas and a House Special Election in Minnesota. Let’s begin with the most important news of all:

https://redstate.com/carcand/2022/05/24/sarah-huckabee-sanders-wins-arkansas-governor-gop-primary-n569427

In their infinite wisdom, the good people of Arkansas voted for Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be the GOP Gubernatorial candidate by over 83%. (By the way, as an indicator of how reliable polls are this year, she was at 56% going into voting day.) I’m sure she’ll be the best Governor of Arkansas in a generation. She still has to beat Democrat Chris Jones in November. I don’t want to jinx it, but I feel good about her chances, especially considering that in their primaries, Sarah got nearly 288,000 votes to Jones’ 69,000.   

And now, for the less important races…

In Georgia, former President Trump saw a rare loss for one of his endorsements with Gov. Brian Kemp easily defeating Trump-backed David Perdue by about 3-1. But Trump-endorsed NFL legend Herschel Walker won a 69% landslide to challenge uber-leftist Sen. Raphael Warnock.

In Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, Democrats have tried everything from deplatforming Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to accusing her of insurrection to trying to keep her off the primary ballot. Yet, her race was called when she was in the lead by over 70% with 44% of votes counted. There’s virtually no chance she will lose that seat in November, which means Nancy Pelosi will likely be looking up at her as she works on fixing America as part of the House majority. Incidentally, I notice that even a conservative-leaning paper like the New York Post refers to MTG as “far-right.” Isn’t it funny how we never hear any Democrats described as “far-left,” even if they’re openly socialist?

In Texas, Trump-endorsed Attorney General Ken Paxton crushed a challenge from George P. Bush, winning his primary by over 2-1. The media had framed this as a test of whether the “Bush dynasty” still reigned in Texas. I suspected that the “Bush dynasty” has long been something that lives only in the imaginations of media yakkers who haven’t actually talked to a Texas Republican in 20 years, and this proves it.

In Texas’ 28th Congressional District runoff, incumbent Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar declared victory, even though with 94% of the vote counted as of this writing, it’s too close to call yet. He’s slightly ahead of genuinely far-left challenger Jessica Cisneros, who is endorsed by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, AOC and various radical left groups, and would be the latest “Squad” member if elected. Cuellar is a DC dinosaur: the last remaining pro-life House Democrat, and he spoke up against open borders. For that reason, “progressives” want him replaced with another looney leftist.

The closeness of the primary vote shows how out of touch activist Democratic primary voters have become with the general population, since that district has been trending red with most thinking people rejecting the crime, drugs and devastation wrought by Biden’s willful failure to secure the border. If Cisneros does somehow eke out a win, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cuellar runs an independent or write-in campaign. But that would split the Dem vote in what’s looking like a red wave year, good news for Republican Cassey Garcia, who won her runoff with 57% of the vote. Hopefully, the angry leftists will have delivered a safe Dem seat to the GOP. 

In Alabama, Katie Britt and Mo Brooks (who had Trump’s endorsement but lost it) will have a runoff for the GOP nomination for Richard Shelby’s Senate seat.

For the latest numbers on other Tuesday races, click this link:  

https://redstate.com/redstatestaff/2022/05/24/live-election-results-georgia-alabama-texas-minnesota-and-arkansas-n568988

 

 

On Tuesday, Day 7 of the Michael Sussmann trial, FBI agent Curtis Heide shed light on how Bureau officials got the idea that Sussmann’s “evidence” about the phony Alfa Bank scandal came from the ‘Justice’ Department.

He said it was his own fault.

In a document drafted the day of Sussmann’s visit by Heide and fellow agent Allison Sands, he said “the DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE provided the FBI with a white paper that was produced by an anonymous third party.” This document served as confirmation that an investigation had been opened into the later-debunked allegation.

Heide said the DOJ reference was “a mistake in our paperwork.”

Quite a mistake. When asked by the prosecution how it could’ve been made, Heide said, “I honestly don’t know.”

Recall Monday’s testimony, in which another agent, Ryan Gaynor, testified that the Bureau was shielding Sussmann’s identity from investigating agents, in a procedure called “close hold.” Though this is often considered appropriate, field investigators for this case were frustrated that they couldn’t know the identity. So for all they knew, it WAS the Department of ‘Justice’ that delivered the goods, not just some “anonymous third party,” and such a misinterpretation surely influenced the way they handled the evidence.

Text messages introduced by the prosecution underscore this problem. “We really want to interview the source of all this information,” Heide wrote to Gaynor on October 3. “Any way we can track down who the guy is and how we’re getting this information?”

There wasn’t. They were flying blind. Gaynor told him only that headquarters was looking at it.

Heide happens to be the subject of an internal FBI “investigative inquiry” for allegedly “not identifying exculpatory information as it pertained to one of the Crossfire Hurricane investigations.” His case is still pending. The allegation involves classified information that was left off a FISA application for a warrant to spy. When asked by the prosecution on Tuesday if he’d intentionally withheld such evidence from the Crossfire Hurricane team, he denied that.

Recall that FBI official Kevin Clinesmith was charged and pleaded guilty to altering a document used in the FISA application for a surveillance warrant on Carter Page. We don’t know if the allegation against Heide applies to the same application.

https://nypost.com/2022/05/24/fbi-agent-testifies-in-michael-sussman-trial-about-mistake/

There’s something important to note in the earlier testimony given by Robby Mook, about Hillary personally green-lighting the plan to break the unverified Alfa Bank story in the media. Jim Trusty, a former ‘Justice’ Department official who’s now a DC lawyer, explained to the NEW YORK POST that this fits with other testimony from Mook and Marc Elias saying they were unaware Sussmann planned to also take it to the FBI. Trusty calls this strategy “Protect the Queen.” As in, Queen Hillary. It goes like this:

First, as we’ve said, taking phony evidence to the FBI to gin up an investigation of a political opponent –- or of anyone –- is very serious. It’s a crime, whereas taking it to the media might just be called “political dirty tricks,” completely unethical but not necessarily leading to a perp-walk. Hillary’s accomplices need to keep her out of jail. So by admitting she knew they leaked to the MEDIA, as opposed to the FBI, they’ve gone just to the line, admitting what they have to, but stopping there.

Trusty said Mook and Elias have suggested Hillary was “shocked, shocked by Sussmann going to the FBI.”

We don’t buy it. It makes no sense for Sussmann to GO BEHIND HER BACK to the FBI and then bill her for the meeting!

Trusty put it similarly: “Legal representation simply does not work that way. You don’t ‘free-lance’ a visit to the FBI while billing your client for the time.”

So Mook and Elias can stick to their untenable story and pretend she wasn’t aware, but we know she was. Still, this tenuous testimony might work, especially if Sussmann’s case is being heard by a custom-made equivalent of the O.J. jury. All they need is one excuse, however feeble, to let him off. Heck, maybe billing Hillary was just a mistake in the paperwork. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Trusty called it “a fig leaf [for] any partisan jurors who want to acquit.”

But only those in an extreme state of partisan denial will still believe Hillary wasn’t behind that little trip to the FBI.

https://nypost.com/2022/05/22/clinton-campaign-aides-try-to-protect-the-queen-at-sussmann-trial/

TechnoFog is doing some outstanding summaries of the testimony, and for Tuesday, he starts with Trisha Anderson, who in 2016 was an FBI general counsel reporting directly to James Baker. She’s asked to read her memo from Sussmann’s visit, which says, “No specific client, but group of cyber academics talked with him about research.”

Then Anderson is presented with an email dated June 16, 2016, concerning a meeting to be held later that day and including SUSSMANN, the CEO of the DNC, James Trainor of the FBI’s Cyber Division, and SHAWN HENRY of CrowdStrike. This meeting takes place two days after the June 14 announcement by the DNC that it had been a victim of Russian hacking and over a month before the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) said it, too, had been hacked by Russians.

Soooo...Durham appears to be going somewhere with the story about the DNC’s Russian “hack” and CrowdStrike. As you know, CrowdStrike never turned over the DNC hard drive to the FBI, and the FBI, amazingly, never pressed them about it. To this day, there’s been no evidence that Russia hacked the DNC, or the DCCC. Someone gave the emails to WikiLeaks, but Julian Assange maintains it was not Russia, or any “state actor.” Yet the “Russian hack” was used to help validate the false Trump-Russia “collusion” story. Sussmann is a common element.

TechnoFog also has more very interesting detail on Heide’s testimony. Heide said Bill Priestap (he of the curious memory lapses on Monday) had made it clear, the FBI’s 7th Floor –- including Director Jim Comey –- was demanding a full field investigation be opened. Heide viewed this as inappropriate, but it was “not an option.”

“In order to open a full field investigation,” Heide said, “we would need specific and articulable facts that a threat to U.S. national security has occurred or there’s been a violation of federal law.” But they were ordered to do it anyway, when nothing was found to substantiate the allegations in the Alfa Bank “white paper,”

Heide also testified that there was another confidential human source besides Sussmann supporting the Alfa Bank story. But this was apparently a media person (!), not a cyber expert. TechnoFog speculates that it was David Corn.

Next witness: Jared Novich, former business partner of Rodney Joffe. He testified that Joffe called and asked him to research some information regarding Trump and Russia. He did it, but said he’d never been asked to do something “very political” like this –- it “felt like opposition research.” The project was called “Crimson Rhino” and involved a list of names, home addresses, spouses, workplaces and personal email addresses. Carter Page’s name was on it. Joffe wanted “a 90-day history of data.” Spying, straight up.

https://technofog.substack.com/p/how-fbi-hq-hamstrung-the-alfa-bank?token

This is getting more fascinating by the day.

..........................................................
Addendum:  We thought we were through with the Sussmann trial for now, until Wednesday's testimony is over, but then saw this.  A must-read.

Uvalde Tragedy

May 25, 2022

At this writing, at least 19 school children and two teachers are confirmed dead in the horrific school shooting yesterday in Uvalde, Texas. The 18-year-old shooter is also dead, thanks to the heroic efforts of law enforcement, particularly one unnamed member of an elite Border Patrol tactical unit called BORTAC. He was injured in the leg while exchanging fire with the shooter, who was barricaded and in body armor.

https://www.westernjournal.com/hero-border-patrol-agent-raced-engage-neutralize-uvalde-school-shooter/

This is a breaking story, so here’s a link to Fox News’ continually-updated news reports:

https://www.foxnews.com/live-news/uvalde-texas-school-shooting

I know that you will join me and others around the world in praying for the victims and the grieving parents who are experiencing the worst nightmare any parent can face. This is a horrifying and senseless tragedy, and all our attention should be focused on the victims and their families.

Unfortunately, as is always the case, many people rushed to cameras to exploit the tragedy by trying to blame it on their political opponents or use it to push their existing agendas before they even knew who the shooter was, what his possible motives might be, what his politics were or what kind of weapon he used (early reports said a handgun and possibly a rifle, but that’s one of many things we don’t yet know for certain.) Also, as is the case too often, it appears that the killer left red flags on social media that were ignored.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/texas-school-shooter-what-we-know

There are those calling for ending the Second Amendment, despite the fact that it’s been around since 1791, and these kinds of cold, conscienceless mass murders have only come in recent years, in an era of family breakdown, rejection of God and moral teachings, desensitizing graphic violence as entertainment, and the erosion of respect for the sanctity of human life. As I wrote recently after the tragic shooting in Buffalo, we have welcomed evil in our midst, and we refuse even to acknowledge its existence. I can make a better case for those things being contributing factors than for “the gun did it.”

But this isn’t the time for political arguments. It should be a time to come together, grieve, offer prayers and comfort to the families, and send a message to the entire world, and especially any would-be future attackers, that every one of those victims was a gift from God and the loss of their lives is an unspeakable tragedy for all of us. Stressing that message to everyone in society – that every life matters and is precious -- would do more to end these horrific attacks than passing more ineffective laws or blaming people who had nothing to do with it.

Related: This is a very good commentary by Darvio Morrow on some things that could be done that really would make our schools safer.

https://redstate.com/redstate-guest-editorial/2022/05/25/morrow-there-is-something-that-we-can-do-n569554

Speaking of large organizations that want to go around parents to indoctrinate small children, State Farm’s “Corporate Responsibility Analyst” (and boy, does he have the wrong job title) put out a memo touting the insurance giant’s partnership with a group called the “GenderCool Project.” It was to have 500 State Farm agents and employees donate a three-book bundle about Being Transgender, Inclusive and Non-Binary to their “local teacher, community center or library of their choice.” The goal was to “increase representation of LGBTQ+ books and support our communities in having challenging, empowering, and important conversations with children Age 5+.” Yes, that’s correct: AGE FIVE and up.

https://redstate.com/jenvanlaar/2022/05/23/breaking-state-farm-terminates-partnership-with-gendercool-according-to-internal-memo-n568913

The news sparked predictable outrage not only from parents and State Farm customers but from many agents and employees who didn’t appreciate being turned into spreaders of radical LGBTQ propaganda. The story hit the news like a shovelful of manure hitting a ceiling fan, and not desiring to “get woke and go broke,” State Farm rushed to do damage control. They announced that the memo came from “a mid-to-lower level employee in Florida” who doesn’t speak for the company, adding:

Conversations about gender and identity should happen at home with parents. We don’t support requiring curriculum in schools on this topic. We support organizations providing resources for parents to have these conversations. We will no longer support that program.”

Pretty simple, isn’t it? Companies that want to stay in business concentrate on their corporate mission, stay out of radical political and social issues, and let parents raise their own kids.

Take note, Disney Corp. In fact, take a lot of notes.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/05/20/disney-releases-lgbtq-pride-themed-toys-marketed-to-children/