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Tag: george w. bush

George W. Bush: ‘There’s pretty clear evidence’ That Russia Interfered in 2016 Election

Former President George W. Bush

By Steve Neavling
Motor City Muckraker

Former President George W. Bush said Thursday “there’s pretty clear evidence that the Russians meddled” in the 2016 presidential election, an apparent rebuke of President Trump and his refusal to accept the findings of his intelligence agencies.

“Whether [Russia] affected the outcome is another question,” Bush said at a conference in Abu Dhabi, the USA Today reported. “It’s problematic that a foreign nation is involved in our election system. Our democracy is only as good as people trust the results.”

While the former president never mentioned Trump by name, Bush pointedly and very publicly countered the president as he and his allies continue to attack the credibility of the FBI and Justice Department, the two departments overseeing the special counsel investigation into Russia’s campaign to undermine the presidential election.  

The White House didn’t immediately respond to Bush’s statements.

Trump Taps Thomas Bossert as Top Adviser on Homeland Security Issues

Tim Bossert

Tim Bossert

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday chose his top adviser on homeland security issues.

Thomas Bossert, an aide to former President George W. Bush, was appointed assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, Newsday reports. 

Bossier will work with the incoming national security adviser, retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

“We must work toward cyber doctrine that reflects the wisdom of free markets, private competition and the important but limited role of government in establishing and enforcing the rule of law,” Bossert said in a statement distributed by the transition. He also said the internet should reflect U.S. values as a “U.S. invention.”

Bossier served as deputy homeland security adviser under Bush and later ran a security consulting business.

Trump called Bossert an “invaluable asset.”

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Director James Comey Becomes a Prisoner of His Boy Scout Image

Scott #1145

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The other day, a commentator on MSNBC described FBI Director James Comey as having a Boy Scout image. That’s a good thing for an FBI director.

The problem is that Comey appears to have become a prisoner of that image, and has placed more importance on  his image and the FBI’s image than the American people, the Justice Department and the presidential election, which is the World Series of democracy in this country.

Simply put, Comey, appeared to be so worried about his image, that he screwed up by firing off a letter notifying Congress  about emails his agents stumbled upon while investigating Anthony Weiner, estranged husband of Huma Abedin. He says he was obligated to update Congressional members.  Plenty disagree with that assumption, at least under the circumstances.

The problem is, at this point, days before the election, Comey has no clue as to what the emails say or what significance they have. It would be different if he knew.  But agents have yet to start reviewing them.

Sure,  Comey should be obsessed about doing the right thing. But doing the right thing isn’t always best for his, nor the FBI’s image. Sometimes you have to take a hit, knowing you’re doing the right thing. In this case, he did  what he thought was the right thing for his and the FBI’s image above all else. It was wrong.

Before Friday, Comey’s image was already under attack by some current and former FBI agents, conservatives on Capitol Hill and the Donald Trump camp — all of whom felt the FBI gave Hillary Clinton and company special treatment during the email probe, and that Clinton should have been indicted.

Comey and his underlings in the bureau have been catching hell for that.

Now, this.

The Washington Post reported Saturday that Justice officials reminded the FBI of the department’s position “that we don’t comment on an ongoing investigation. And we don’t take steps that will be viewed as influencing an election,” said one Justice Department official.

“Director Comey understood our position. He heard it from Justice leadership,” the official said. “It was conveyed to the FBI, and Comey made an independent decision to alert the Hill. He is operating independently of the Justice Department. And he knows it.”

I’m sure Comey thought he was doing the right thing, though I wonder if he wasn’t also hoping to make amends with all those who faulted him for not recommending charges against Clinton.

Comey is no stranger to the politics of Washington and the sensitivity of elections.

In March 2004, during the President George W. Bush administration, Comey was deputy Attorney General when he rushed to the intensive care unit where Attorney General John Ashcroft was hospitalized. Comey had learned that White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales and President Bush’s chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., were on the way to visit Ashcroft and get him to reauthorize Bush’s domestic surveillance program, which the Justice Department had just determined was illegal.

Comey went there and prevented that from happening. Back then, even though it was such an egregious attempt to violate the law, Comey knew better then to come out publicly that year and expose the Bush administration’s highly questionable intentions months before the November election in which Bush was seeking a second term.

I don’t agree with some who suggest that Comey be fired or resign. He is a stand up guy and has been good for the FBI.

But in this case, he screwed up.

On the upside,  Comey has turned Donald Trump around. Trump now thinks he’s A-Ok.

Not many Boy Scouts can say they’ve got Donald Trump in their corner.

 

Philadelphia Inquirer: Declaring War on Terrorism Wrongly Suggests An End to Fight

NYC Terror ColoradoBy Editorial Board
Philadelphia Inquirer

The fallacy in declaring a “war on terror,” as President George W. Bush did after the 9/11 attacks, is that it suggests an eventual end to the fight. After all, even the so-called Hundred Years War had a conclusion. But 15 years later, we know the terror war, like the war on poverty and the war on drugs, is a never-ending battle.

Every new act of terrorism is a reminder of that, including the Sept. 17 bombing that injured 29 people in Manhattan and a rampage that same day at a St. Cloud, Minn., mall in which 10 people were stabbed. ISIS claimed the Minnesota assailant was a “soldier of the Islamic state,” but it has been silent about the man arrested for leaving bombs in New York and Elizabeth and Seaside Heights, N.J.

At some point, Americans will have to accept that our terror war has no foreseeable end; that no battlefield victory in the Middle East or arrest of homegrown jihadists on U.S. soil will completely erase the possibility of another attack, most likely carried out by some radicalized lone wolf rather than masterminds like those who planned 9/11.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, who was shot and captured after leaving pressure-cooker and pipe bombs in New York and New Jersey, may have made the devices by following instructions in Inspire, the online newsletter published by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Dahir A. Adnan, 22, the knife-wielding Minnesota attacker shot and killed by police, needed no instructions to use his weapon.

Such incidents are likely to occur so long as there are people who succumb to the siren song of jihadists who use the internet to recruit and indoctrinate. There should be no reduction in efforts to blunt their ability to inspire violence. But as intelligence work and related military operations abroad continue, we must reassess the terror “war” and consider how that approach empowers those who seek to weaken us.

To read more click here. 

Supreme Court: Secret Service Agents Immune from Protest Lawsuit Involving President Bush

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Supreme Court halted a lawsuit that alleges unequal treatment by Secret Service agents.

The Washington Post reports that the court unanimously ruled that agents were immune from the lawsuit because they were responsible for distancing protesters from then-President George W. Bush following a 2-0-4 campaign event in Jacksonville, Ore.

“The maintenance of equal access makes sense in the situation the agents confronted,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote for the court.

During the event, the Secret Service moved protesters away while allowing supporters to stay close.

Seven protesters and two Secret Service agents filed suit, claiming unequal treatment of their free-speech rights.

Man Armed with Loaded Rifle, Machete, Gas Arrested for Threatening to Kill former president George W. Bush

White House photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Armed with a loaded rifle, a machete and gasoline, a man threatened to kill former president George W. Bush and win over one of his two daughters, USA Today reports.

The Secret Service arrested Benjamin Smith, 44,  in New York City after he told agents he was “working on a relationship with Barbara Bush.”

After a 12-hour search, they found Rossi with a loaded .38-caliber rifle.

Police received a tip from the man’s mother after finding a note.

“I’m going to work for George W. Bush and the Pentagon,” the note said. “I have to slay a dragon and then Barbara Bush is mine.”

 

Supreme Court Case Pits Protesters’ Rights to Be Heard Against Politicians

The Daily Astoria 
Editorial

Can political protests be restricted so that political leaders don’t have to listen?

This is one way of framing the issue before the U.S. Supreme Court when it considers this term whether Secret Service agents were right in ordering protesters to be removed from President George W. Bush’s sight and hearing during a 2004 visit to Jacksonville in southern Oregon.

The other main way to view the matter is whether the Secret Service has unquestionable discretion to ensure the president’s safety by keeping obvious opponents much farther away than they keep obvious supporters.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit – the second-highest level of federal court – was seriously split on this question in a decision released in February. A majority of the 28 judges ruled that a lawsuit can proceed against the agents who required protesters to be moved more than twice as far away from the president than supporters. The Obama administration, supporting the agents, asked Supreme Court justices to consider quashing the lawsuit.

To read more click here.

Homeland Security Reaches 10th Anniversary But Has its Trials

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks revealed flaws in the U.S.’s national security.

So on March 1, 2003, Congress passed the Homeland Security Act, which created the Homeland Security Department.

Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano described it as “the largest reorganization of the federal government since the Department of Defense,” wrote Fox News. The department was designed to “protect our homeland,” then-President George Bush said. 

“I don’t think people understand what (DHS) does and no part of it really wins any respect from the public,” Ben Friedman, a research fellow in defense and homeland security studies at the Cato Institute in Washington, told Fox News.

Since Sept. 11, the department has received nearly $800 billion, according to MSNBC.

Since its creation, the department has been criticized for numerous reasons.