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They’re coming to steal your gold – oops, “Watergate”

By Daniel M. Ryan
web posted May 15, 2017

The Internet hosts several vibrant subcultures, with the most venerable being the goldbugs. These are folks who urge everyone to load up on silver and gold as a hedge against a future hyperinflation, which they aver is inevitable. Using logic that’s strikingly similar to the Malthusian logic deployed by population-control advocates, they insist that hyperinflation is baked into the U.S. financial-political cake. It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s going to happen soon. Permanent-deficit financing, way beyond the carrying capacity of the Treasury if rates go back to levels of the 1980s, guarantees it.

Subcultures like goldbugs’ are charming because they mirror traits that are found in the folks who like to sneer at ‘paranoid styles’ of whatever. One foundational pillar of the goldbug narrative says the U.S. government is waiting to confiscate your gold. Like all narratives of this sort, it’s based upon a real event: the gold confiscation of 1933. Since FedGov did it once, it’ll do so again: it’s waiting to do so again. There are goldbugs who insist that confiscation was attempted by President Nixon and President Obama. Some of them like to claim that President Kennedy was assassinated because he tried to deprecate Federal Reserve Notes in favour of silver certificates.

Wild? Let’s have a peek at another once-only, which took place in the 1970s. No, not OPEC’s once-only use of the oil weapon in 1973 - one which still has a huge influence on U.S. energy policy today. Nope, I refer to Watergate.

There’s a fascinating similarity because the parallel is so evident. Just like the goldbugs thump the gold-confiscation tub whenever something goes apparently wrong with the economy or government finances, so it is that the usual suspects insist that another Watergate’s a’brewin’ whenever a President fuels their suspicions. The recurrence is so regular, “-gate” has become a cliché. Inevitably, it’s been flung around in the latest uproar over President Trump: his firing of James Comey last Tuesday.

A Marked Man

James ComeyPresident Trump was reportedly bewildered at the outcry, and it’s not hard to find out why. James Comey was a marked man. As a sympathetic profile of him in Politico suggests, it was only a matter of time before he was canned: of late, he had shown a perverse talent for losing allies and accumulating enemies. Think of your own workplace. If you saw someone careening down that path, especially after becoming controversial to the point of lightning-rod, would you be surprised if you learned he was fired?

Moreover, until the Dems 180ed like proverbial trained seals, they made very public demands for Comey to be fired. Add to this the argument made by the National Interest’s Jacob Heilbrunn, who wrote that Comey should have been fired because the former Director had acquired a taste for very publicly meddling in affairs that were not part of his mandate.

Dig deeper and you’ll find even more. After denying under oath that he or anyone he authorized was leaking, the contents of a private one-on-one dinner with he and President Trump got leaked to the New York Times. This put Comey in the position of a stockbroker who publicly averred that there was nothing wrong with Bear, Sterns and that it was a great buy – a week before it imploded. Not in itself a firing offence, but a perfect rationale for someone who’s on the firing list anyway.

Add to this a notable reluctance to get to the bottom of the leaking that’s beggaring the Trump Administration - in stark contrast to his go-get’em attitude about the still-shadowy “Russians.” As explained by Paul Sperry, Charles Grassley didn't like Comey stonewalling about the investigation of those leaks: Grassley wondered publicly if Comey was investigating them at all.

Anger boiled over Monday, after two ex-officials, Obama intelligence czar James Clapper and holdover Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, testified that nobody at the FBI had talked to them, four months after the leaks, even though they’d be key witnesses in any probe.

That suggests Comey either never opened an investigation or has been dragging his feet. The next day, Trump fired Comey.

And yes, there’s more. A press release from the Office of the Inspector-General (DOJ) [.pdf file] stated that Comey was being investigated about:

  • Allegations that Department or FBI policies or procedures were not followed in connection with, or in actions leading up to or related to, the FBI Director’s public announcement on July 5, 2016, and the Director’s letters to Congress on October 28 and November 6, 2016, and that certain underlying investigative decisions were based on improper considerations;
  • Allegations that the FBI Deputy Director should have been recused from participating in certain investigative matters;
  • Allegations that the Department’s Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs improperly disclosed non-public information to the Clinton campaign and/or should have been recused from participating in certain matters;
  • Allegations that Department and FBI employees improperly disclosed non-public information; and
  • Allegations that decisions regarding the timing of the FBI’s release of certain Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents on October 30 and November 1, 2016, and the use of a Twitter account to publicize same, were influenced by improper considerations.

This press release was sent out January 12th.

And if that's not enough, read this comment from Free Republic member FredZarguna. It’s detailed enough to be a comfort letter for a top-level firing:

This can't be said often enough, and unfortunately, right-wing media has let us down by allowing the claim that Comey "lost the election" for Hillary to permeate the public consciousness.

He did no such thing.

Had he performed [his] duty in July, she would have been indicted for (and by now, convicted of) a felony which makes her ineligible to ever hold public office again. Instead, Comey granted blanket immunity to essentially all of her minions, flunkies and stooges, so that there can be no pressure exerted against them. [Although Huma Abedin's lies about her handling of classified materials probably invalidates any prior deal she'd made.]

In addition to the immunity deals, let's count the other ways in which this investigation benefitted Hillary, and could only have been conducted by a dirty cop with full knowledge that what he was doing was improper, and in some cases illegal:

  • He took no action regarding an illegal ex parte communication between the AG and the man who created her government career.
  • He granted blanket immunity to multiple targets of an investigation in exchange for nothing.
  • He destroyed evidence provided by those targets.
  • He permitted the principle [sic] target of his investigation to have a lawyer present during a non-sworn interview.
  • He permitted that representation despite the fact that the attorney was, as a target of the investigation herself, ineligible to represent Clinton.
  • He permitted interviews at which multiple targets were present together on several occasions; a practice never allowed during ordinary law enforcement procedures.
  • He made a legal finding regarding the likelihood of successful prosecution without any consultation with the DOJ.
  • He allowed investigations of the Clintons to be supervised by his deputy, Andrew McCabe, even though McCabe's wife had received nearly three quarters of a million dollars from Clinton bagman Terry McAuliffe and other Clinton loyalists.
These offenses [sic] alone are enough for his removal. There are of course, so many others. Comey was the man who directed the investigation of, and recommended the punishment for, Sandy Berger who was sent into the US National Archives to remove and destroy evidence of the Clintons' negligent complicity in the 9/11 attacks. Comey was the point man in guaranteeing that the HSBC money laundering case produced a wrist slap and came nowhere near the Clintons. Comey allowed the DOJ case investigating the Clinton Foundation to be operated out of the Eastern District of New York -- Loretta Lynch's power base -- instead of the Southern District in Manhattan where it belonged. His deputy, the ubiquitous Mr. McCabe, reprimanded agents when they attempted to get prosecutors in more pertinent jurisdictions to form Grand Juries when those requests were denied in Brooklyn.

The claim that Comey's "reopening" of Hillary's email case in late October was the coup de grace that sank her candidacy is also a preposterous fiction. Comey had received word that the NYPD Special Investigations Task Force had found evidence of additional State Department emails on the laptop owned by Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin. He came in to quash that investigation before NYPD revealed anything the Clinton Crime Family couldn't control. And note, that in the critical 72-hour period before the election, Comey made a public announcement that "there is still nothing to see here, Hillary has been cleared again." That didn't hurt her campaign: it reminded people that the FBI had essentially cleared her name, and cast doubt on Comey's self-serving all-but-intent announcement in July.

Put all the above together, relate it to your place of work, and you’ve got a firing that’s about as surprising as a traffic jam in rush hour.

As for the way President Trump fired him, Ben Shapiro hit the proverbial nail on the head in his podcast after the event. President Trump surprised people because he’s not used to doing things the Washington way.

There’s actually more to it than the above. President Trump fired Comey in a way not seen in Washington but normal for the private sector. If a CEO wants to get rid of a top executive who has custody of proprietary information, that’s how he fires the guy. Wait until the executive is out of the office on vacation or at a junket in Silicon Valley, lock the office door, and then send out the “You’re fired” text. In cases where said executive is under a legal cloud, the CEO is legally obliged to fire the guy in this way. Conrad Black was charged and convicted for obstruction of justice simply because he was caught on camera moving boxes of Hollinger documents from the Hollinger building to his home.

Fake News, Real Hysteria and A Smoking Gun

But that doesn’t stop the liberal media, does it? Instead, we get “Watergate....Watergate....Watergate...Watergate...”. They’ve been so insistent, they sound like goldbugs scrying the weekly Commitment-of-Traders reports for signs that those big banks were manipulating gold downwards.

Since it wouldn’t be a hearty hysteria party without fake news, the libmedia’s been good enough to supply some. Such as, the claim that the FBI asked for more resources for scotchin’ out the Russkies and the claim that Deputy Attorney-General Rosenstein threatened to resign after his letter was invoked. There was some serious worry-warting about the Russkies who visited President Trump in the Oval Office: a writer for the Compost alarmed it up about the photographer possibly smuggling in a listening device. Over at the U.K. part of the pond, a Russian-born expert on KGB espionage in the 1930s was seriously asked if she were a Russian spy...on the ground that she met Gen Flynn at a dinner-conference in 2014! That hysteria fest certainly gave Dr. Svetlana Lokhova something to ponder.

And of course, the party wouldn’t be complete without a surprise guest: a Russian crook busted for hacking LinkedIn, Dropbox and Formspring. He claimed in a letter that the FBI approached him offering an immunity-and-citizenship deal if he confessed to interfering with last year’s election! His claim, whose source might also have been the screenwriter for Inglorious Basterds, made Newsweek.

Now, it is a fact that the nine months spent obsessing over the Russian thingie has turned up nothing substantive. The party favour has been nothing more than sauce de surmise. Over at the wallflower end of the room, we can join Victor Davis Hanson in speculating why the Paranoia Hoedown has been rolling for so long. But we don’t have to, thanks to some doughty digging by Brietbart’s Jerome Hudson:

The new Clinton campaign tell-all, Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, reveals how Hillary Clinton personally placed blame for her bruising defeat on Russian meddling "within twenty-four hours of her concession speech."...

From Shattered:
On a phone call with a longtime friend a couple of days after the election, Hillary was much less accepting of her defeat. She put a fine point on the factors she believed cost her the presidency: the FBI (Comey), the KGB (the old name for Russia’s intelligence service), and the KKK (the support Trump got from white nationalists).

"I’m angry," Hillary told her friend. And exhausted. After two brutal campaigns against Sanders and Trump, Hillary now had to explain the failure to friends in a seemingly endless round of phone calls. That was taking a toll on her already weary and grief-stricken soul. But mostly, she was mad— mad that she’d lost and that the country would have to endure a Trump presidency.

The authors detail how Clinton went out of her way to pass blame for her stunning loss on "Comey and Russia."

"She wants to make sure all these narratives get spun the right way," a longtime Clinton confidant is quoted as saying.

(Emphasis added, and needed.)

Smoking gun? Well, it won’t be the first time that Hillary Clinton has posited a conspiracy out to get her when she was in trouble.

Moreover, and more significantly, there’s a reason why the DNC and Podesta Emails were so galvanizing. Consider the vast difference between those and the Macron Emails. The folks that went through the Macron collection, undoubtedly spurred by the French government banning the publication of them, found...nothing. The contents were so mundane, the only person likely to take an avid interest in them would be a grad student specializing in French politicking.

There’s a reason why the DNC/Podesta collections seized the public mind: they were replete with evidence of collusion. They showed that the Clinton Machine was the Collusion Machine. Had that evidence not been there, those Emails would have been like the Macron Emails: a three-day wonder, after which the sensation-seeking Internet would have moved on. Instead of getting trollish Emails - “Hey Podesta! Wanna know how to protect yourself from spear-phishing? It’s right next to the definition of subsidiarity!” - John Podesta would have only gotten ingratiating Emails from grad students asking if they could interview him about the campaign he ran.

It’s this nation-scale machine of collusion, which provably includes the liberal media, that explains why said media’s been on a nine-month roll: one whose theme music might as well be Paranoid and Lovin’ It.

Had it not been for Hillary’s behaviour pattern, plus the evidence that her last name might as well be Collusion, we’d have to posit that psychiatrist R.D. Laing should’ve been a political analyst. But thanks to all the above documentation, we can conclude that it’s nothing more than the Clinton train rollin’ as usual. In sober fact, the firing of Comey was about as surprising as ESPN’s sinking ratings.

And the fact-free frenzy about ‘Watergate’ is about as surprising as a goldbug averring that absence of evidence is merely a sign that the bullion banks are good at covering their tracks. ESR

Daniel M. Ryan, as Nxtblg, is shepherding the independently-run Open Audi Initiative Prediction Market Shadowing Project. He has stubbornly assumed all the responsibility and blame for the workings and outcome of the project.

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