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Posts Tagged ‘SCIF’

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If the facts are against you, argue the law. 

If the law is against you, argue the facts. 

If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell.

— Carl Sandburg

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Pound the table and yell like hell. That’s where the republican party of trump ( neither the party or the man deserve a capital letter) is at this moment in history. Facts and laws are not on their side so they turn to bluster and diversion.

They take us to the Theater of the Absurd.

Yesterday, a large group of republican congressman stormed a SCIF to disrupt a deposition taking place in the ongoing Impeachment Inquiry, brandishing cellphones and yelling. Now,  SCIF stands for Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility which is a secured place where highly sensitive classified material is handled and personal electronics are strictly forbidden. To intentionally bring a cellphone into a SCIF would normally result in the offending party losing their security clearances and possibly their job. This is not a secret and all members of congress know the purpose and rules attached to a SCIF and the hearings that take place within them.

Their claim was that these hearings and depositions are being held in secret, suspiciously away from the eyes and ears of the public. That’s not completely untrue. These hearings are closed to the public just as criminal investigations grand juries are before charges are issued. This is an investigation, a gathering of evidence. It is not a trial.

These men– it was all white men, as an aside– all know this and are being intellectually dishonest in trying to attack the process to divert attention from the facts and law. In fact, about a quarter of those involved in this bit of guerrilla theater were part of the committee holding the hearing and could have been there, if they had chose to do so. They chose to pound the table and yell instead.

Some of these men were part of the Benghazi hearings from a few years ago. Almost every witness in this investigation gave depositions behind closed doors. There were over 100 of these secret depositions. Only one witness testified publicly. Hillary Clinton sat for eleven hours before the committee and ate their lunch. She had the facts and law on her side and didn’t pound the table and yell.

They wished they had kept her testimony behind closed doors.

In fact, the primarily republican committee addressed and defended the secretive nature of the investigation in the final Benghazi report. And during the hearings, a non-committee member, Darrell Issa, tried to enter the chamber and was escorted out by the sargeant at arms at the request of Chairman Trey Gowdy, who said, to his credit, there were rules to these types of inquiries that must be upheld.

The closed nature of this investigation is not unusual. These men know that. They can’t honestly argue against the facts that have come out or the laws that are potentially being enforced. They only want to create a shiny object to divert our attention, to change the narrative.

So, they act like the whiny babies they really are, pounding the table and yelling.

But wait, to add a layer to this weird theater experience, there was testimony in another yet trump lawsuit yesterday that was overlooked a bit by the press. His attorney, as a line of defense, attempted to convince a panel of Appellate Court judges that trump was exempt from having to provide his tax returns and other financial records and was above investigation or arrest of any kind.

He was forced to actually say that if trump shot a person on Fifth Avenue he could not be arrested or investigated until he left office.

He is literally above the law, according to his lawyers.

Absurdity.

And those are only two instances in one single day. You can add last night, at a rally,where trump boasted about a wall he is building in Colorado, much to the consternation of the folks living there. Or his ridiculous statements earlier in the day in trying to spin his complete betrayal of the Kurds and subjugation to the Russians and Turks in Syria.

Theater of the Absurd, folks.

Look past the table pounding and the yelling. Calmly examine the facts and the laws. Just because they are putting on a show with their absurdist company doesn’t mean you have to sit through it.

Oh, and stay off Fifth Avenue. Today just might be the day the demented fool attempts to prove his point.

God, or whoever is in charge of this runaway train, help us all.

 

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