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More to the somewhat right, Zenpundit

Friday, June 9th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — second of two posts ]

And here’s the second of two posts, one from myself and one from Zen, both about today’s Comey testimony — in an initial attempt at balance in response to our friend Scott observing:

This blog has been getting a little partisan since November…can we go back to being a little more objective?

I don’t suppose Zen will mind my making a post of it here, since he posted it en plein air / en clair on FaceBook himself:


The Comey testimony is amazing on a number of levels.

My initial read is that the President didn’t obstruct justice in a legal sense but his actions in attempting to influence the investigation of General Flynn provide more than a theoretical ground for an article of impeachment.

Historically that is not going to get you a conviction in the Senate by itself. Not even in a Democratic Senate, without other articles and clear evidence supporting them. Which is why Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton finished their terms after being impeached and Richard Nixon resigned even before articles could be voted upon.

The GOP has a POTUS who is out of control in the sense that he won’t accept normal staff assistance and advice to avoid transgressing obvious red lines in the daily conduct of his office.

The last administration inappropriately tried to influence Comey in an investigation too – but note that the President personally didn’t wheedle him. There’s good reasons he didn’t. While the type of convo between Comey and Trump was common with J. Edgar Hoover and US Presidents, ever since Watergate this has been understood to be suspect behavior at best and a red line to be avoided.

If Trump continues as he has done he will soon be in dire straits and all the complaints about hyper partisan media and Never Trump/Obama mole leakers will not matter, no matter how accurate

More to the somewhat left, Cameron

Friday, June 9th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — first of two posts ]

Our friend Scott just observed:

This blog has been getting a little partisan since November…can we go back to being a little more objective?

Here’s the first of two posts in an initial attempt at balance, one from myself and one from Zen, both about today’s Comey testimony.


Was this the day a boil burst?

Was this the day a boil burst on the neck of universe?
Universe is too large,
even solar system exaggerates,
Jove Pater may be keeping a paternal eye on us,
there may even be villages in New Guinea
where John Frum is the news topic of the day,
but as Dan Rather just said of Comey’s testimony,
This scene is going to be written about fifty, a hundred,
two hundred years from now; there’s something
Shakespearean about it, in more current terms,
House of Cards..

My mind drifted from the Comey hearings,
and came back, I wondered where it had gone, given
the intensity of the moment,
volcanic maybe, though all moments
have seemingly a sort of priority in their own times
like a balcony in Escher bulging because,
well, because he’s seeing it, making it his focus..
My mind must have wandered,
that’s the metaphor, down to the banks of Lethe,
dipped in, gotten ah somehow baptized,
deep baptized,
so that Lethe, the banks of Lethe,
the steps leading down to the banks of Lethe
all vanished, all submerged,
gone down into oblivion, known
only because once there was mind on Comey
and I woke to mind gone.

Pure Buddhism, pure any meditative practice..
Mind here, gone,
and meanwhile the volcano,
Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, boil,
has burst,
spewed forth evidence Mueller
like a small planetary Jove Pater can work with
in his own moments volcanic —
just an American,
or not quite only an American Jove Pater —
manwhile, Trump ever Mercurial,
Comey stellar..

Speaking of stars, whoah!
meaning literally: a downward-turning of the stars.

Politics while in uniform: the No, Sir, and Yes of it

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — trying out a new look for DoubleQuotes ]

I’m aware that testifying under oath when questioned on a specific topic by Congress is different from promoting a presidential candidate at a campaign rally — but even so, the contrast strikes me as interesting:

tablet trump & politics in uniform

As for the question of orders to torture which Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford was addressing, I personally am with him. My point here, however, is not to play politics, but to raise the issue of “justice” — in this case, “fair play” might be a better phrase — “not only being done, but being seen to be done”..



  • Military.com, Marine Rebuked for Performing at Donald Trump Rally in Uniform
  • Thehill.com, Joint Chiefs chairman: Trump orders would harm troop morale
  • Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, conclusion, second point

    Saturday, February 8th, 2014

    [ by Charles Cameron — all too important, all too easily overlooked, Daveed G-R nails it ]


    I thought Daveed Gartenstein-Ross made an exemplary point in his testimony before the House Armed Services Committee session on the State of Al Qaeda, its Affiliates, and Associated Groups: View From Outside Experts, when in the second of four points in his Conclusion: Al-Qaeda and U.S. Policy (five in his testimony as delivered orally) he said:

    This testimony has outlined two competing views of al-Qaeda, and it’s worth noting that public discussion of the jihadist group is impeded by the fact that open-source analysts lack basic information about the al-Qaeda network that can be found in such primary source documents as those recovered after the raid that killed bin Laden in Abbottabad. The seventeen Abbottabad documents that the U.S. government released in 2012 represent less than 1% of the total cache of information, and they don’t even contain a single complete correspondence. To improve public sphere discussion about al-Qaeda, declassification of those documents should be hastened.

    A number of analysts have been saying the same thing for a while in blog posts and tweets, though in the present budget-cutting atmosphere they have been ignored and the program to continue declassification and analysis shelved — but Daveed brought the issue, pointedly and courageously I thought, to the House Committee itself.

    If anything can turn things in a positive direction as far as that cache of documents is concerned, Daveed’s direct testimony will. As he put it:

    Better harnessing the talents of open-source analysts has the potential to sharpen U.S. counterterrorism policies and alert policymakers to possible pitfalls.



  • HASC testimony, video
  • CTC West Point, Letters from Abbottabad: Bin Ladin Sidelined?
  • News from the near blogosphere: I

    Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

    [ by Charles Cameron — listen up if you get the chance ]

    It is possible that this post will reach some of you in time to tune in to this testimony:


    I’m posting this here because I hope some of you will be able to watch this session live, but also because I think it’s indicative of a shift that is happening — and it’s a shift I’ve been hoping for and wanting to talk about here on Zenpundit. That shift has to do with the blogosphere, and to my mind it’s a very positive one.

    I’ll have more on that later — but first, I wanted to get the word out about this session. More, hopefully, a few hours from now.

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