Monday, February 19, 2018

"File Under Mistrial" Revisited

In a recent post, I noted that the prosecution of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman doubly violates the US Constitution's Sixth Amendment -- the jury is neither identified (so the trial is not, as required, public) nor are the jurors from Mexico (so they aren't, as required, from "the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed").

Now it violates the First Amendment as well:

At the hearing, U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan denied Guzman's request to speak in open court about the case after prosecutors expressed concerns he could be trying to send messages to his cohorts. The judge said that in the future he would need to be notified in advance on what Guzman wanted to talk about before he could speak.

Even if you happen to think that El Chapo is, as Donald Trump would put it, a "bad hombre" and that these are "exceptional circumstances," this is strikes me as one (actually, three) of those "give them an inch and they'll take a mile" kind of things.

Interesting ...

In 2008, I just couldn't bring myself to vote for the Libertarian Party's presidential ticket of Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root.

Nor was the Boston Tea Party's ticket (Charles Jay for president, me for vice-president) on the ballot or registered as a write-in option in Missouri.

So I voted for the Green Party's ticket of Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente. They seemed like the "most libertarian" option available (McKinney voted with Ron Paul in Congress more often than most Republicans did and, unlike Barr, appeared at an event with Paul to accept his generalized endorsement of voting third party).

On last night's Free Talk Live, I found out that Adam Kokesh did the same thing I did that year.

Why did that come up? Because FTL is broadcasting from the Anarchopulco  conference, where Kokesh used his speaking time to introduce McKinney as a newly declared anarchist. They interview Kokesh and McKinney. Good stuff.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

A Question About Russiagate

So Robert Mueller has finally procured indictments against some Russians, for "election meddling" of the same type/variety as the weird "Help Jesus Beat Hillary" Facebook ads. This time it's stuff like having someone dress up as Hillary Clinton in a prison uniform and pose in a fake jail cell. Still not seeing any there there on the whole Trump campaign collusion thing, but ...

... purely for the sake of argument, let's suppose that the Russian government actually did take an active interest in the outcome of the 2016 presidential election and that, the lack of evidence for the claim aside, did in fact make a serious effort to influence that election's outcome in Donald Trump's favor.

My question is ... why?

Yes, Clinton made some anti-Russia noises as US Secretary of State, but presumably those noises were obligatory, seeing as how she made them at the same time she was raking in millions of dollars in Russian bribes to e.g. shepherd the Uranium One deal through the US regulatory approval process and whatever else the Russians would expect such a well-paid mole in such a high position to do for them. It's hard to imagine that the Kremlin would take such cover maintenance noises so seriously as to intervene against putting one of their own agents in the Oval Office.

Did her Kremlin handlers ask her to do something beyond the pale even for her, and take umbrage at her refusal?

Did she not deliver all the goods she was getting paid to deliver?

Or did she perhaps actively double-cross them and actually thwart some design she'd been ordered to advance?

It seems to me that it would have to be something pretty big for Vladimir Putin decide he'd give up on putting a highly compromised SVR asset in the White House and settle for a loose cannon like Donald Trump instead.

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