… there are things happening that aren’t related to the Wuhan virus pandemic.
Perhaps the most significant political development over the past few days has been the release of FBI and DoJ paperwork, including handwritten notes, about the Flynn case and how that investigation was handled. At first blush, the documents seem to paint a picture of official corruption, suggesting not only that General Flynn should be exonerated, but that some government officials may deserve disbarment, jail time, and other sanctions.
The optics of the story aren’t good for the Deep State, but they could be even worse for the Democrats who are on the verge of nominating a key figure of the administration that corruptly used the Deep State for its political ends. The opposing sides campaign ads almost write themselves.
On The Other Podcast last Saturday I suggested that the smarter members the Democrat/Media/Deep State complex will use Tara Reade’s accusations against Joe Biden as the way to prevent his nomination (“See. We believe this woman.”) now that he’s served the purpose of stopping the Bernie Bros from seizing the party. The process has started; WaPo has published an opinion piece calling for Biden to address Ms. Reade’s claims. The coming fight for control of a brokered convention should be interesting to watch. I have no idea who will crawl out from under which rock and grab the nomination.
WaPo has published a long piece on one of the Lessons Learned reports of the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (aka SIGAR). The article is based on documents received after a three-year long legal battle over a Freedom of Information Act request that is still ongoing.
A confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals that senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.
The documents were generated by a federal project examining the root failures of the longest armed conflict in U.S. history. They include more than 2,000 pages of previously unpublished notes of interviews with people who played a direct role in the war, from generals and diplomats to aid workers and Afghan officials.
The government initially refused to release the unclassified report, claiming the the persons interviewed were whistleblowers. That was patently false because those interviewed did not come forward voluntarily but were approached by SIGAR. Also, some agencies, including the State Department, the DoD, and DEA, have classified parts of the report after the fact.
Meanwhile, over at Instapundit, Mark Tapscott suggest that
Trump will say it proves him right about getting out of Afghanistan, and, more importantly, about why the Washington Establishment cannot be trusted. That this gift comes to Trump from the Post is the icing on the political cake.
I almost titled this post I’m Not Making This Up, You Know—The Washington Post has published an opinion piece which advocates the effective repeal of the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
Ben Bradley and Herblock were unavailable for comment.
The headline editor at WaPo did not have a good day yesterday. Most of the Gentle Readers will have heard about the changing of “terrorist” to “austere religious scholar” which resulted in the #WashPostObituaries and #WashingtonPostObits hashtags on Twitter. I thought about joining in, but I decided to take a Sunday afternoon nap instead. If I had played, the tweets probably would been like these—
John Wilkes Booth, noted interpreter of Shakespeare, dies at 26.
Richard Plantagenet, doting uncle, tragically slain at 32.
Al Capone, retired Chicago businessman, suffers fatal heart attack at 48.
I’m so old that I can remember when the press typically gave a new president a month or so of respectful coverage as his new administration settled in before putting everything under a partisan microscope. The classic example of this custom was an editorial cartoon by Herblock in the Washington Post. Herblock always caricatured Richard Nixon with five-o’clock shadow on his face, but on Inauguration Day, 1969, his cartoon showed a barber chair with caption that said that every new president got one clean shave.
The media doesn’t seem to be following that old custom this year.
Note: That’s not a tweet. It’s from Gab. I recommend giving gab.ai a try.
… the WaPo Fact Checker awards four Pinocchios to Harry Reid for his bogus claim that Mitt Romney paid no taxes for ten years.
We use a reasonable person standard here. Without seeing Romney’s taxes, we cannot definitively prove Reid incorrect. But tax experts say his claim is highly improbable. Reid also has made no effort to explain why his unnamed source would be credible. So, in the absence of more information, it appears he has no basis to make his incendiary claim.
Moreover, Reid holds a position of great authority in the U.S. Congress. He should hold himself to a high standard of accuracy when making claims about political opponents.
More to the point, Harry Reid is a lying politician who should be heckled off the public stage.
UPDATE—WaPo, which has been acting as if it were an official publication of the Obama reelection campaign, seems to be putting more daylight between themselves and Dingy Harry. Richard Cohen writes:
In “The Godfather Part II,” a senator from Nevada is portrayed as corrupt. His name is Pat Geary. In real life, a senator from Nevada is a jerk. His name is Harry Reid.
That’s the opening of his column. It closes with this:
As for Obama, he is tarnished by this episode. The fresh new face that promised us all a different kind of politics is suddenly looking cheesy. The soaring rhetoric that Obama used in his first campaign has come to ground in the mud of Harry Reid’s latter-day McCarthyism.
It’s almost as if they can sense that there may be a new center of power in Washington.
UPDATE 2—Smitty seems unimpressed with Mr. Cohen’s insights.
Yesterday, the day that President Obama invoked executive privilege, was the fortieth anniversary of The 18-Minute Gap in the Watergate scandal. It is interesting to compare and contrast WaPo’s coverage and commentary on the topic of executive privilege then and now. All the President’s Men seem to be at the Post in 2012.
Draw and Strike has the goods on the WaPo attempted hit piece on Mitt Romney and pranks from his student days. (H/T, Hot Air). Screen shots of how the story has changed without notice are included in the D&S piece. Of course, they wouldn’t have to track the changes if they followed the advice of a former newspaper man—Mark Twain:
If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
UPDATE–It turns out that the story is not just wrong but hurtful to the the family of the nonvictim John Lauber. ABC quotes one of his sisters as saying:
The family of John Lauber is releasing a statement saying the portrayal of John is factually incorrect and we are aggrieved that he would be used to further a political agenda. There will be no more comments from the family.
Will WaPo apologize?
UPDATE 2–Breitbart reports that the WaPo report that the alleged prank was the beginning of the end for John Lauber doesn’t match with the real world.
But Lauber, at least according to his obituary in the South Bend Tribune, led an incredibly full life. He graduated from Vanderbilt, became a member of the British Horse Society, had his seaman papers, was a licensed mortician in three states and head chef at the Russian River Resort in California, and even served as a civilian contractor to the troops in Iraq. This does not sound like someone crippled by a supposedly crucial incident back in high school.
The Republican National Committee pushes back against the War on Women meme with a statement that points out that the President’s economic policies aren’t so good for women; they’ve lost more jobs than men during this recession. WaPo “fact checks” this claim and finds that the math is correct. Alas, this truth does not fit the narrative, so they label the remark … hold on, folks … TRUE BUT FALSE.
Oh, but the blogosphere is having fun with this! Karl at Hot Air comments:
Bias and sloppy analysis aside, my biggest complaint with establishment media “fact-checking” is the condescension and arrogance involved in pretending political debates are much simpler questions of fact. The Orwellian — or Pythonesque — “True But False” rating is just the poster child for the problems inherent in the effort.
This may be the most literal case ever of not allowing the facts to get in the way of the story. I screen capped it to preserve it for posterity (and dissuade the Post from trying NBC’s airbrushing trick once this blows back on them).
Back in 2008, WaPo posted an analysis of a McCain campaign ad that suggested we could see $4 a gallon gasoline if Barak Obama were elected. (H/T, Instapundit) The analysis notes that:
Drilling off the coasts would increase U.S. oil production but have no short-term impact on gas prices.
Yeah, for the last twenty years, the left has been saying that drilling wouldn’t affect oil prices for ten years. If we can get started soon after the next election, we might be able to keep gas under ten bucks a gallon in 2023.