Dishonest Times

In a banner headline to what is nominally a news column on the front page of this morning’s New York Times, the paper falsely asserts that “REPORT DEBUNKS ANTI-TRUMP PLOT IN RUSSIA INQUIRY.”

The Horowitz report does no such thing. The Inspector General’s conclusion that he “did not find documentary or testimonial evidence” for such a plot is not even close to being proof that it didn’t happen.

The Inspector General was in no position to disprove the possibility that senior Obama-era officials at the FBI and other ‘intelligence’ agencies conspired to kick-start an investigation into the Trump campaign, then Administration, based on illegal political and/or self-serving motivations – he lacked the authority to conduct a wide-ranging investigation, to subpoena witnesses, to compel testimony or to look at the (co-ordinated?) behaviors of the other ‘intelligence’ agencies than the FBI or for evidence based on the FBI’s co-ordination with overseas ‘intelligence’ agencies unconstrained by US law. His was a sharply limited mandate.

Further, as The Times well knows, both Attorney General Barr and John Durham, the federal prosecutor who has all the authorities that Horowitz lacked, and is using them to conduct a wider inquiry, used the occasion of the release of the Inspector General’s report to make it clear that they disagree with Horowitz’s conclusion that he had found no evidence of political bias in the instigation of the FBI’s anti-Trump investigation. These exceptionally unusual public demurrers, and the convening of a grand jury by Durham, are clear indications that prosecutions of the possible crimes that Horowitz did not see are on their way.

And indeed, even ignoring the internal emails suggesting the existence of an FBI ‘insurance policy’ against a Trump presidency, the evidence uncovered by Horowitz of 17 ‘mistakes’ by the FBI – some of which were sine qua nons to getting permission from the FISA court to spy on the Trump campaign, some of which were just of the dirty-tricks-we-don’t-want-our-cops-to-employ variety, can themselves be taken as the evidence of the illegal intent that Horowitz doesn’t see. It is more than a little odd to think that the senior-most management of the FBI would play fast and loose with the courts while initiating what looks an awful lot like an unprecedented use of government power to damage a candidate, then president, based on wholly proper motives. One would think that they would be, if anything, infinitely more careful than usual under such circumstances.

Innocent ‘mistakes’ or essential steps in an anti-democratic and criminal plot? From a legal perspective, a jury will likely settle that question – and remember, for a jury to conclude the latter, the charge would have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt – and that it’s quite possible that in any forthcoming trial the American public will conclude that even though the evidence is insufficient for a criminal conviction – motive being awfully difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt – it is perfectly adequate for convincing us that these people were up to no good, and, as a consequence, set in motion a process that has done great damage to the republic.

In any case, The Times does its readers a severe disservice by asserting as a matter of fact that the question of whether there was a plot against the president has been settled because that theory has been ‘debunked’. It hasn’t been; in the months and years to come, those of us who pay close attention to such matters will learn a lot more about how – and why – the investigation was initiated, and we’ll draw our own conclusions. Sadly, though, those who rely largely on The Times for their ‘news’ on this matter are all too likely to remain … the real low information voters.

M.H. Johnston           

7 comments to Dishonest Times

  • Doug again  says:

    Nice piece. Sad statement.

  • Anonymous  says:

    It’s good you’ve sent out notices. Thanks

  • Dave  says:

    You should post this in the comments section of The NY Times article.

  • DP  says:

    thanks….glad you are one of “ those of us who pay close attention to such matters”, because I’m not sure where I’d learn these things.

  • Dennis Paine  says:

    “Dishonest Times”


  • Filip G  says:

    I grew up reading newspapers and wanted my kids to have the same habit (let someone else inform them so they stay in touch). However, with rot from the core of journalism since at least Bush #1, I had to abandon my dream. After all, who wants their kids to pay for drivel from political operatives with bylines? Recently, however, I subscribed to The Epoch Times and have been impressed so far. I am thinking of splurging $200/yr on the “newspaper” version… My point is that we still live in a free country and someone has come along to fill a perceived (and real) need; no need to put up with Dishonest Times.

  • Dennis Paine  says:

    @ Filip G:
    As a subscriber to both print and digital editions of The Epoch Times, I couldn’t be more pleased with their product and their standards.

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