(1) The last line of defense of democracy is the hearts and minds of the citizenry. Where is your heart? Where is your mind?
(2) Our political culture has developed entire industries devoted to distracting you from the big picture. Round all these distractions to zero, and retain focus on the big picture. See if you can articulate in a single sentence the stakes in this election.
Today I obtained the three DHS I&A intelligence reports on which @shaneharris reported yesterday--two concerning my Twitter activity and one concerning that of @ByMikeBaker of the New York Times. I am deeply grateful to all of those who have reached out with words of support.
(1) It does not trouble me that DHS officials shared my tweets internally. That is certainly appropriate given that the tweets contained disclosures of information from DHS I&A. The contents of these intelligence reports are innocuous enough.
(2) What is troubling about this story is that I&A shared my tweets *as intelligence reporting,* that is, an intelligence arm of the government filed a report on a citizen for activity at the heart of journalism: revealing newsworthy information about government to the public.
Internal memo from head of DHS I&A formally changing the blame for Portland violence from "Violent Opportunists" (VO) to Antifa.
FIR=field intelligence report
OSIR=open source intelligence report
Understand this document as responsive to POTUS pressure to "designate" Antifa as a terrorist organization.
And to Brian Murphy: I have read, and I acknowledge receipt.
Here are four questions congressional intelligence committees should be asking regarding DHS intelligence operations vis a vis protestors:
(1) DHS I&A has a data exploitation team that can get all kinds of material off phones. It's normally used to assist with watchlisting. Is it being used to get material off of phones of those arrested in Portland?
(2) Is DHS I&A exploiting commercially available data about protestors from data brokers who collect such material routinely?
Let’s face it, America: Our government has given up on any kind of public health response to COVID. This crime is a betrayal, as a result of which many people are going to die. It also means the response is on us. So let’s be as responsible and careful as our government is...
...being reckless and foolish. Let’s all live our daily lives as though nobody is going to do this for us. The cavalry isn’t coming, people. It’s just us.
That means act like you don’t have a government—just family, friends, and community.
Gosh, call me naive, but I think Roberts may be voting what he actually believes. His three big side-with-the-libs votes include: (1) a genuinely close statutory question. (2) a process question in which he took a stand for minimally competent lawyering.
After a quick scan of the DC Circuit opinion on the Flynn case, three quick thoughts: (1) I am confident the majority view on this panel does not represent the majority view on the DC Circuit, which greatly disfavors granting mandamus relief.
(2) I am not confident, however, that the full Court will hear the matter (though it certainly may), as the DC Circuit also greatly disfavors en banc review.
(3) I do expect Judge Sullivan to put the matter quickly before the full court, as he has little reason not to and his ability to manage his case is being challenged here by the defendant, the Justice Department, and the panel majority.
A friend just sent me a list of quotations this person had compiled asking me to decide whether each was uttered by Bill Barr or Ayatollah Khomeini. It was surprisingly difficult. I got 13 correct out of 15.
Ok, people want the list of quotations. Here it is. Note: while the friend is someone I trust a great deal, I have not personally checked the provenance of these quotations. Let’s see how the internet does with them.
1. “It is hard to resist the constant seductions of our contemporary society.”
(1) The key question is why this is happening now. Is it because Berman has been too independent and decent in general? Or is it because of something that is going on right now?
(2) Berman’s statement may be teasing the latter possibility, but the language in the last sentence could also be boilerplate—the kind of things prosecutors say to impress upon others the independence of their work.
(3) The situation is horrid either way but the latter situation implies another acute rule of law crisis, whereas the former reflects a continuation of a pattern of abusive, retaliatory firings of investigators who do their jobs.
Yesterday on @inlieuoffunshow, I posed the question to the audience of how people can sustain the momentum of these protests without the sort of large public gatherings that are going to spread the virus and—in a few weeks—kill a lot of people.
A viewer reminded me of farmer protests in the 1970s, which involved people coming to DC from all over the country and driving VERY slowly around the Beltway. This sparked an idea.
What if, at a designated time, people all over the country blocked roads?
If you have a car, block a street with it or drive very slowly up and down a main drag.
Today on @inlieuoffunshow, @Klonick and I will be joined by photographer @GailHalaban, who pioneered the window-to-window photography movement, which has caught fire worldwide in the age of quarantine. She will talk about the history of her work and show us pics!
@ccacy@SethAbramson It's an interesting question. Here's what we know. The entire CI and criminal investigations were sent to Mueller. Mueller set up a system in which he handled only the criminal questions and kicked back CI information to the bureau.
@ccacy@SethAbramson He resolved all of the questions he treated in the Mueller report. So it is theoretically possible that live CI questions remain at the bureau. That said, I don't believe any such questions are live. The reason, as I described in some depth at the time of the Mueller report...
@ccacy@SethAbramson ...is that the Bureau has created an intense negative incentive structure against active CI matters involving Russia and Trump World. It has fired key people. It has humiliated others. A lot of agents have been disciplined. In that environment, it seems unfathomable....
Ok, let's do a fun experiment using the new @BotSentinel bulk blocker/analysis tool. Here is a tweet from the President, retweeting a tweet from @MZHemingway—both of whom attract a lot of people who rank high on @BotSentinel's trollbot scale. I chose this tweet because...
it contains a large number of replies (just shy of 5,000) but not enough to overwhelm the system, which is still in beta and can be a little glitchy, or take too long to run.
Very much agree. It's a remarkable use of the podcast form, as I have tweeted earlier. It's made all the better by the series being pervasively pregnant with the current moment but never dwelling on it. It's a remarkable accomplishment. And everyone should study it who is...