Tag: Cover-UP

Burying the Lede

So, Gabriel Debenedetti of the New York Times has reviewed Michael Schmidt’s book, DONALD TRUMP V. THE UNITED STATES (Inside the Struggle to Stop a President).

What is interesting how this very chatty review completely buries the lede.

11 paragraphs, and this waits until the penultimate paragraph before this reveal:

More interesting, however, is the constant flow of shocking anecdotes: Schmidt writes that Mitch McConnell fell asleep during a classified briefing on Russia, for example, and he details the F.B.I.’s shambolic reaction to evidence of the hacking in 2016, including an unresolved disagreement over how to handle the material. Describing Trump’s unexpected November 2019 visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, he reports the White House wanted Mike Pence “on standby to take over the powers of the presidency temporarily if Trump had to undergo a procedure that would have required him to be anesthetized.” (The vice president never had to take this step.)

(Emphasis mine)

How is an allegation that Trump had a medical emergency that sent him to Walter Reed, and then covered it up not the lede?

H/t Southpaw for tweeting this.

Live in Obedient Fear, Citizen

With an explosion in accusations of abuse in the execution of their duties, the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has come up with a novel solution, it wants to destroy all of its records, much like the British Colonial Dervices when they covered up their brutality as they exited former colonies in Operation Legacy:

Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently asked the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA), which instructs federal agencies on how to maintain records, to approve its timetable for retaining or destroying records related to its detention operations. This may seem like a run-of-the-mill government request for record-keeping efficiency. It isn’t. An entire paper trail for a system rife with human rights and constitutional abuses is at stake.

ICE has asked for permission to begin routinely destroying 11 kinds of records, including those related to sexual assaults, solitary confinement and even deaths of people in its custody. Other records subject to destruction include alternatives to detention programs; regular detention monitoring reports, logs about the people detained in ICE facilities and communications from the public reporting detention abuses. ICE proposed various timelines for the destruction of these records ranging from 20 years for sexual assault and death records to three years for reports about solitary confinement.

How convenient.

Well, We Finally Knows What Makes a Federal Judge Call Bullsh%$ on the FBI

The FBI was saying that it needed 17 years to accomodate a Freedom of Information Act request.

The judge was having none of it:

Getting answers to Freedom of Information Act requests is often a protracted and tiring process, but how long a wait is too long?

One federal judge just came up with an answer: 17 years.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler bluntly rejected the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s proposal that documentary filmmaker Nina Seavey wait until the year 2034 to get all the law enforcement agency’s records for a request pertaining surveillance of anti-war and civil rights activists in the 1960s and 1970s.

The request involved an unusually large amount of material — about 110,000 pages of records at the FBI and more at other agencies — but Seavey said waiting almost two decades for the complete files wasn’t viable for her.

You can run the numbers: 110,000 pages taking 17 years with 50 weeks a year working 5 days a week, and you hve a processing rate of less than 26 pages a day.

This is bullsh%$, and it’s a coverup in an attempt to protect the reputation of J. Edgar Hoover, who should be remembered primarily as a Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria

“Literally, they were talking 17 years out. I’m 60 years old. You can’t do that math,” the George Washington University professor and documentarian told POLITICO this week. “It wasn’t going to work for me.”

The FBI said it has a policy of processing and releasing large requests at a pace of 500 pages a month, while Seavey, represented by D.C. transparency lawyer Jeffrey Light, had proposed 5,000 pages a month. (At one point, the FBI thought it had about 150,000 pages of responsive records, which would’ve meant a 25-year wait.)

Justice Department lawyers and the FBI argued that going faster than 500 pages a month would disrupt the agency’s workflow and create the possibility of a few massive requests effectively shutting down the rest of the their FOIA operation.

Kessler didn’t buy it.


Ultimately, Kessler ordered the FBI to process 2,850 pages a month, which should get Seavey the records she’s seeking within three years.


It’s not the first FOIA case to produce staggering estimates of how long the government would need to make records public. Last year, the State Department rebuffed a request for emails of aides to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying it could take 75 years to work through the material.

Yeah, that’s a f%$3ing coverup too, but tragically, it was a coverup of basically nothing driven by unreasoning paranoia, which created the appearance of guilt.