The Intelligence Community - Champion of Democracy

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Re: The Intelligence Community - Champion of Democracy

Post by Śiva » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:38 pm

That's an interesting point. I Just looked into and I found that former CIA agent Jeffrey Alexander Sterling, former NSA official Thomas Andrews Drake, and former FBI translator Shamai Leibowitz, make three recent examples of application of that act. With a little modification I think it could work.
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Re: The Intelligence Community - Champion of Democracy

Post by Forty Two » Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:28 pm

Joe wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:17 pm
Forty Two wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:59 am
Hypothetical.

If some Russians did have dirt on Trump, or Clinton -- let's say both. Let's say, a Russian says to both campaigns - I have dirt on your opponent, and I want to meet with you. Both campaigns agree to meet to hear about what they have. They both meet, and see that it entails thousands of emails which show their opponent in a bad light, and would certainly be very bad press for both. Neither campaign takes the information. The information is later released by Wikileaks. What crime was committed?

Assume those facts to be true. Can you conclude a crime was committed based on that? Why or why not?
Of course not. There is too little information here to draw conclusions. This isn't a very useful question Forty Two. Let's ask a better question.

What would you have to find out subsequently for you to conclude a crime had been committed, and what crime(s)?
That would be part of the "why not?" portion of my question above. So, you tell me - what would you have to find out subsequently for you to conclude a crime had been committed, and what crime?
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Re: The Intelligence Community - Champion of Democracy

Post by Joe » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:07 pm

Forty Two wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:28 pm
Joe wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:17 pm
Forty Two wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:59 am
Hypothetical.

If some Russians did have dirt on Trump, or Clinton -- let's say both. Let's say, a Russian says to both campaigns - I have dirt on your opponent, and I want to meet with you. Both campaigns agree to meet to hear about what they have. They both meet, and see that it entails thousands of emails which show their opponent in a bad light, and would certainly be very bad press for both. Neither campaign takes the information. The information is later released by Wikileaks. What crime was committed?

Assume those facts to be true. Can you conclude a crime was committed based on that? Why or why not?
Of course not. There is too little information here to draw conclusions. This isn't a very useful question Forty Two. Let's ask a better question.

What would you have to find out subsequently for you to conclude a crime had been committed, and what crime(s)?
That would be part of the "why not?" portion of my question above. So, you tell me - what would you have to find out subsequently for you to conclude a crime had been committed, and what crime?
Given that I've already answered the "why not?" portion of your question, how about you answer my question instead of trying to dodge it? :bored:
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Re: The Intelligence Community - Champion of Democracy

Post by Forty Two » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:53 pm

Joe wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:07 pm
Forty Two wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:28 pm
Joe wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:17 pm
Forty Two wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:59 am
Hypothetical.

If some Russians did have dirt on Trump, or Clinton -- let's say both. Let's say, a Russian says to both campaigns - I have dirt on your opponent, and I want to meet with you. Both campaigns agree to meet to hear about what they have. They both meet, and see that it entails thousands of emails which show their opponent in a bad light, and would certainly be very bad press for both. Neither campaign takes the information. The information is later released by Wikileaks. What crime was committed?

Assume those facts to be true. Can you conclude a crime was committed based on that? Why or why not?
Of course not. There is too little information here to draw conclusions. This isn't a very useful question Forty Two. Let's ask a better question.

What would you have to find out subsequently for you to conclude a crime had been committed, and what crime(s)?
That would be part of the "why not?" portion of my question above. So, you tell me - what would you have to find out subsequently for you to conclude a crime had been committed, and what crime?
Given that I've already answered the "why not?" portion of your question, how about you answer my question instead of trying to dodge it? :bored:
Alright, we can do it this way. I would say that if the foreign person in the example above gave money to the campaign, or paid vendors on behalf of the campaign, then it would be a violation of the law on the part of the foreign person. Also, the campaign would be legally responsible if they wilfully and knowingly conspired with them to do that. Or, if the foreign person and the campaign conspired to have the foreign person fund an election ad campaign, then the campaign would be liable. Obviously, the donation of any real or personal property would be verboten, too.

But, if we're discussing this issue, the next step in the hypothetical would really be whether a crime was committed if the foreign persons actually transferred the information to the campaign. Let's say it's information only -- they have a witness that saw Trump masturbating in an elevator, and H.Clinton was witnessed walking into a swingers party. They tell that information to the respective campaigns. Any legal violation?

I say no.
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Re: The Intelligence Community - Champion of Democracy

Post by Joe » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:41 pm

Well, my guess would be that it depends on how the foreign person got the information in the first place, and what that information was. In the case of your hypothetical emails, if they were obtained by hacking into a private network and email servers, the foreign person might be charged with a felony under the computer fraud statute, possibly conspiracy, even if they didn't transfer the information to the campaign or participate in the hacking themselves.

If the foreign person was an agent of a foreign government, it's possible the Espionage Act might come into play. I don't really know much about it, so I can't say. It was regarded as obsolete until the Bush and Obama administrations resurrected it.

Interestingly, the Espionage Act was last used by the Trump administration against the woman who leaked information about Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.
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Re: The Intelligence Community - Champion of Democracy

Post by Forty Two » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:36 pm

Joe wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:41 pm
Well, my guess would be that it depends on how the foreign person got the information in the first place, and what that information was. In the case of your hypothetical emails, if they were obtained by hacking into a private network and email servers, the foreign person might be charged with a felony under the computer fraud statute, possibly conspiracy, even if they didn't transfer the information to the campaign or participate in the hacking themselves.
Well, naturally. If they robbed a liquor store, or hacked a computer, or the like, those are crimes. And, if one of the campaigns helped in that process, then that would be a crime.
Joe wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:41 pm

If the foreign person was an agent of a foreign government, it's possible the Espionage Act might come into play. I don't really know much about it, so I can't say. It was regarded as obsolete until the Bush and Obama administrations resurrected it.
It's a dangerous thing, that Espionage Act. And, it's one thing to find that the foreign person committed a crime. It's another to hold a person they offer to give the information to a criminal also. That's where we get into Pentagon Paper territory. Even stolen documents are protected by the First Amendment. If someone drops off hacked and stolen documents to the New York Times, according the US law under the Pentagon Papers analysis, it's not a crime to receive it or publish it.
Joe wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:41 pm

Interestingly, the Espionage Act was last used by the Trump administration against the woman who leaked information about Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.
Indeed, and that's a government employee who committed an offense by virtue of the leak. That's different. The liability of the campaigns is, also, a different animal than the liability of the leaker or the hacker.

For example, Reality Winner may have committed a crime, but a blogger who she gave the information from (who was not involved in the theft of the information, but merely was given the information) can publish it under the Pentagon Paper analysis. There isn't a "fruit of the poisonous tree" princple here. In a court case, for example, if the police grab truthful evidence illegally, often it is excluded from the trial as "Fruit of the poisonous tree." But here, a purloined letter may well put the theif in jail, but would not result in jail time for the innocent recipient who publishes it.

I don't see how we get to a crime, unless we find that a member of one of the campaigns conspired with or helped commit an offense in the getting of the info.

From a public policy standoint, wouldn't it be very damaging to NOT allow the disclosure of damaging information about candidates? What if someone from Mexico got damaging information about Trump's immigration policies. Let's say the Mexican national was traveling along the border, and he filmed and recorded various US border patrol people making incursions into Mexico, harassing Mexicans, and kicking small kids and dogs in the process. While he made the videos, he made multiple illegal entries into the US, committing violations of the law. While they did it, they can clearly be heard saying that they got their instructions direct from the President, who held a closed door meeting telling them that a new sheriff was in town, and he was it - and those wetback lettuce pickers are going to learn to behave. He's got that all on tape, and he goes to the Democrat 2020 candidate in October, 2020 and says "I have all this info that will destroy Trump - it will destroy him -- I'll turn it over to you, if you promise to release it now before the election.

Foreign person. Thing of value. Contribution. To a campaign. That's right in the letter of the election law that everyone keeps citing was allegedly violated when Trump Jr said "oh, you have dirt on that bitch, sure, if it's what you say, we love it!" (words to that effect), and met with them to get the skinny on the dirt.

What's the difference? Would the Mexican sourced info be legal? Why? Why not?
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Re: The Intelligence Community - Champion of Democracy

Post by JimC » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:07 pm

Perhaps those activities are not technically illegal, but they certainly show that American politics has no interest whatsoever in ethical behaviour, and that American voters don't give a shit...
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Re: The Intelligence Community - Champion of Democracy

Post by Hermit » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:43 pm

Forty Two wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:04 pm
pErvinalia wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:41 am
The key difference being you support Trump, whereas I don't support either of them. :fp:
Fair enough, if that's accurate. Do you have a clear preference as between the two?
Just speaking for myself, were I entitled to vote in the 2016 US presidential election, I would have clearly voted for the war mongering Wall Street shill, but I would have done so while holding my nose. The Democrats stink, you see? They just stink a little less than the Republicans.

You, on the other hand, have yet to voice a substantial criticism about the corrupt bully. Care to comment on his views regarding abortion? Or how he installed a former head of the petroleum industry as the head of environmental issues? What about putting de Vos in charge of education? Was it a good idea to call a head of a nation he wanted to negotiate with "rocket man"? Are you going to argue Trump's visit to North Korea was a success?

I could go on and on, listing Trump's failures and disgusting policies, but I'll stop now and wait for you to criticise an aspect of Trump's political views and actions. Shall I hold my breath?

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Re: The Intelligence Community - Champion of Democracy

Post by Joe » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:03 pm

Forty Two wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:36 pm
Joe wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:41 pm
Well, my guess would be that it depends on how the foreign person got the information in the first place, and what that information was. In the case of your hypothetical emails, if they were obtained by hacking into a private network and email servers, the foreign person might be charged with a felony under the computer fraud statute, possibly conspiracy, even if they didn't transfer the information to the campaign or participate in the hacking themselves.
Well, naturally. If they robbed a liquor store, or hacked a computer, or the like, those are crimes. And, if one of the campaigns helped in that process, then that would be a crime.
Joe wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:41 pm

If the foreign person was an agent of a foreign government, it's possible the Espionage Act might come into play. I don't really know much about it, so I can't say. It was regarded as obsolete until the Bush and Obama administrations resurrected it.
It's a dangerous thing, that Espionage Act. And, it's one thing to find that the foreign person committed a crime. It's another to hold a person they offer to give the information to a criminal also. That's where we get into Pentagon Paper territory. Even stolen documents are protected by the First Amendment. If someone drops off hacked and stolen documents to the New York Times, according the US law under the Pentagon Papers analysis, it's not a crime to receive it or publish it.
Joe wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:41 pm

Interestingly, the Espionage Act was last used by the Trump administration against the woman who leaked information about Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.
Indeed, and that's a government employee who committed an offense by virtue of the leak. That's different. The liability of the campaigns is, also, a different animal than the liability of the leaker or the hacker.

For example, Reality Winner may have committed a crime, but a blogger who she gave the information from (who was not involved in the theft of the information, but merely was given the information) can publish it under the Pentagon Paper analysis. There isn't a "fruit of the poisonous tree" princple here. In a court case, for example, if the police grab truthful evidence illegally, often it is excluded from the trial as "Fruit of the poisonous tree." But here, a purloined letter may well put the theif in jail, but would not result in jail time for the innocent recipient who publishes it.

I don't see how we get to a crime, unless we find that a member of one of the campaigns conspired with or helped commit an offense in the getting of the info.

From a public policy standoint, wouldn't it be very damaging to NOT allow the disclosure of damaging information about candidates? What if someone from Mexico got damaging information about Trump's immigration policies. Let's say the Mexican national was traveling along the border, and he filmed and recorded various US border patrol people making incursions into Mexico, harassing Mexicans, and kicking small kids and dogs in the process. While he made the videos, he made multiple illegal entries into the US, committing violations of the law. While they did it, they can clearly be heard saying that they got their instructions direct from the President, who held a closed door meeting telling them that a new sheriff was in town, and he was it - and those wetback lettuce pickers are going to learn to behave. He's got that all on tape, and he goes to the Democrat 2020 candidate in October, 2020 and says "I have all this info that will destroy Trump - it will destroy him -- I'll turn it over to you, if you promise to release it now before the election.

Foreign person. Thing of value. Contribution. To a campaign. That's right in the letter of the election law that everyone keeps citing was allegedly violated when Trump Jr said "oh, you have dirt on that bitch, sure, if it's what you say, we love it!" (words to that effect), and met with them to get the skinny on the dirt.

What's the difference? Would the Mexican sourced info be legal? Why? Why not?
Yes, if the campaign helped hack private networks, they would certainly be at risk of felony computer fraud charges. How about if they didn't help, but knew a felony was committed, and didn't report it. Would that be misprision of a felony?

As you say, the Espionage Act is a dangerous thing.

The Pentagon papers ruling protects someone from publishing illegally obtained information, but did not protect Daniel Ellsberg from prosecution under the Espionage Act for communicating it illegally. His case was ruled a mistrial due to government misconduct, not on the merits of the case against him.

If the hypothetical campaign conspired with foreign agents to have a third party publish the stolen information, are they at risk under the Espionage Act, or perhaps some other law?

After all, as Justice Black pointed out, "it is apparent that Congress was capable of, and did, distinguish between publishing and communication in the various sections of the Espionage Act."
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Re: The Intelligence Community - Champion of Democracy

Post by Hermit » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:42 pm

JimC wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:07 pm
Perhaps those activities are not technically illegal, but they certainly show that American politics has no interest whatsoever in ethical behaviour, and that American voters don't give a shit...
There is no such thing as a free lunch. Any offer by foreign powers of providing incriminating information involves a quid quo pro. In this case the price is obvious. The US administration is the leading nation enforcing economic sanctions against Russia.

Sure enough, Trump became the sheet anchor in implementing them. When the sanctions bill sailed through the senate 98 votes to 2 in August last year, Trump had no choice but to sign off on it, but he did so under protest, saying the bill was seriously flawed. He also worked hard at watering it down, a process he called "improving the language to give the Treasury Department greater flexibility in granting routine licenses to American businesses, people, and companies." Yeah. Right. It's sanctions one has when one has no sanctions, or at least getting as close as having no sanctions as possible.

There is no doubt that people on the Republican side of the presidential election campaign were colluding with the Russians to achieve a result that are beneficial to both. At the very least I regard that as corrupt. Whether it is treasonous, I don't know. And, as I posted yesterday, at this stage there is no evidence that Trump was personally involved or aware of that collusion. Until some tapes or other records turn up he is in the same position as Nixon before he was forced to hand over his recordings, and until then we can but speculate.

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Re: The Intelligence Community - Champion of Democracy

Post by pErvinalia » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:52 pm

Forty Two wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:04 pm
pErvinalia wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:41 am
The key difference being you support Trump, whereas I don't support either of them. :fp:
Fair enough, if that's accurate. Do you have a clear preference as between the two?
Well Clinton is clearly the more capable presidential material. I certainly don't support her, but she wouldn't be as bad as Trump has been.
As for "supporting" Trump - a more accurate description of my position is that I support certain of his political positions as compared to Clintons. Where I agree with Clinton, the issues are of less importance to me. Where I agree with Trump, the issues are of more importance to me. So, on balance, I support Trump because of that. I think overall things would be worse economically under Clinton, and we would have a more interventionist foreign policy than we've seen so far with Trump. I also think Clinton would have pursued more "progressive" style economic policies, which I don't generally support.
You support Trump independent of Clinton. You support this utter lying buffoon to hold the most important job in the world. Incredible.
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Re: The Intelligence Community - Champion of Democracy

Post by JimC » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:02 am

I've always wondered how big an influence that US voter's evident distaste for Clinton had on the election result, rather than them wanting Trump per se...
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Re: The Intelligence Community - Champion of Democracy

Post by pErvinalia » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:05 am

Well remember they have the option of not voting there. They could also vote a third party / independent. It's not a dichotomy between bad and really bad.
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Re: The Intelligence Community - Champion of Democracy

Post by Hermit » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:08 am

pErvinalia wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:05 am
Well remember they have the option of not voting there. They could also vote a third party / independent. It's not a dichotomy between bad and really bad.
If a voter's intent is to prevent the really bad getting into the office it is a dichotomy.

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Re: The Intelligence Community - Champion of Democracy

Post by pErvinalia » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:10 am

Yeah. I guess I'm more directing my comment towards 42 and his false dichotomy he presented to me - Clinton or Trump. I wouldn't have voted for either of them. Although, knowing now how bad Trump is, I would definitely have voted for Clinton over him.
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