Five Minutes Five Issues: Comey’s Memos, Back Channel, Arizona Gold, Frisking Students, Total Information
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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.
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Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.
Might former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey, with his memos on conversations he had with President Donald Trump, be using a shady practice similar to one FBI agents employ regularly?
Lawyer and author Harvey Silverglate advised in a May of 2013 Boston Globe editorial that “the public should look skeptically at the accuracy of any FBI claim regarding what transpires in the bureau’s infamous witness interviews.” Silverglate explains that the FBI has a practice of not audio or video recording these interviews and instead having an agent write a report that becomes “the official record of the exchange.” An interviewee who challenges the report’s accuracy “risks prosecution for lying to a federal official, a felony.” “[S]uch interview tactics,” Silverglate writes, “seem virtually geared toward establishing as fact what the FBI wanted to hear from the witness.”
Allegations have been made that President Trump’s aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner looked into setting up back-channel communication with people in the Russian government in December — after Trump had won the presidential election but before Trump became president.
Gareth Porter, in a Monday article at antiwar.com, wrote about a similar occurrence decades before. Porter writes that in December of 1968, between Richard Nixon winning the presidential election and his taking office, Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s choice for national security advisor, began setting up back-channel communication with Soviet Union leaders. The system ultimately included a secure phone line in the White House that Nixon used.
Porter recounts that “US intelligence agencies, the National Security Council staff and the Pentagon were kept in the dark” about the back-channel conversations. A reason the back channel was appealing to Nixon was that it avoided leaks from inside the United States government. Trump should have the same concern.
In the March 10 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about Ron Paul’s testimony before an Arizona State Senate committee. Paul spoke in favor of legislation (HB 2014) that defines certain coins containing precious metal as legal tender and eliminates the state’s taxation of capital gains from the exchange of such coins for US dollars. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed the bill into law on May 22.
In the April 28 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues I talked about the sheriff’s department of Worth County, Georgia frisking 900-plus students at a high school, purportedly in an attempt to find illegal drugs.
Sometimes we hear words like “frisk” or “pat-down” and it does not register what is being discussed. Megan Cerullo reported Wednesday at the New York Daily News regarding a lawsuit filed by nine of the students. In the article, Cerullo recounts allegations related to one of the students as follows:
A 16-year-old plaintiff identified only by her initials, K.A., described being searched. She said a deputy “kicked her legs to open them wider” and “pulled the front of K.A.’s bra away from her body by the underwire and flipped it up.”Issue five.
The deputy’s hands “went underneath K.A.’s dress” as he felt up her leg. He also allegedly cupped her vaginal area and buttocks.
Back in 2003 Congress terminated the Total Information Awareness program. But, that was not the end of the story. James Bamford, in an article released last week at the Foreign Policy website, reports that a similar program continues, overseen by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), which Bamford calls “the spy world’s premier research center.”
Bamford notes that a goal of this program called Open Source Indicators (OSI) is “cataloging the lives of everyone everywhere, 24/7,” including “[t]apping real-time into tens of thousands of different data streams — every Facebook post, tweet, and YouTube video; every tollbooth tag number; every GPS download, web search, and news feed; every street camera video; every restaurant reservation on Open Table.”
That’s a wrap.
Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.
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