Are People Really That Clueless?

I can’t imagine that people are really as dumb as the sound bites make it out to seem. I know there are the few that watch Fox and Fox only and do not do any research, read anything else, try to educate themselves, much less take a second to read the actual constitution.
I wrote this as a response to someone’s Facebook post, but for some reason I couldn’t post it any more. I also included the bullshit stunt that was pulled yesterday regarding the raid into the SCIF rooms and the fact that the representatives front and center yelling about the secrecy are actually MEMBERS of those same committees being held in those SCIF rooms!
Feel free to share what you want, correct me where needed and comment as you wish!

Simple Summary

  • Closed door hearings – both houses of congress is allowed to have closed door meetings, hearings and testimony.
  • Secret testimony – if anything is deemed to be a state secret or sensitive to national security it will also be held behind closed doors; transcripts may or may not be released
  • Whistleblower – equate a whistleblower to someone calling a tip line; they may NEVER be identified, but if the tip is credible and there is evidence of a crime that uncovers more evidence to corroborate that crime, it will be investigated; just because you don’t know who the caller is that told you they saw someone stab a guy in an alley as an officer you would still investigate the alley; if you find blood or a knife, you continue the investigation. It’s the same case here.
  • Confronting accusers – true, but the whistleblower is not the accuser necessarily, they are the tipster; and trump does not have the right to confront them at any time or just because; if the whistleblowers testimony is imperative to the case than he can be cross examined by trumps attorney/trump.
  • Stasi & Germany – this is just a cheap insert when you have no other argument; unless you were actually in East Germany during the reign of the Stasi (or Germany during WWII if you want to reference the Nazis) then don’t, because 99% of these references are 100% off.
  • Constitution – read below.
  • Impeachment Hearing – See the constitution, there are differences between an inquiry, proceedings and hearing. The House does not hold hearings, that will be the Senate. Basically the House puts together the information to decide if there should be a hearing, if there should be a hearing, than the Senate is the one to hold the hearing. Look back in history to the Iran-Contra hearings held in the Senate.
  • SCIF – this just means in the simplest of terms, a secret room; HOWEVER, it is not secret from members of congress – they all know where their committee SCIF rooms are.
  • TV coverage – inquiries are the equivalent of depositions and therefore not televised, they are not hearings
  • Kangaroo Court – a kangaroo court overlooks the laws of the land in favor of the defendant

Regarding “Closed Door” Hearings & “Secret” Testimony

House Rule XI paragraph 2(k)(5) provides for closed hearings:

    • o (5) whenever it is asserted that the evidence or testimony at any investigatory hearing may tend to defame, degrade, or incriminate any
    • o (A) such testimony or evidence shall be presented in executive session, notwithstanding the provisions of clause 2(g)(2) of this rule, if by a majority of those present, there being in attendance the requisite number required under the rules of the committee to be present for the purpose of taking testimony, the committee determines that such evidence or testimony may tend to defame, degrade, or incriminate any person . . .
  • This rule also provides that no testimony or evidence taken in executive session may be publicly released without the committee’s consent.
  • Even when a hearing is open to the public, the House Rules provide for limitations on the broadcast coverage of the hearings. While at rule XI paragraph 3(e) the rules state that a committee can vote to permit the hearing to be broadcast, they can also provide a subpoenaed witness what the right to prevent such broadcast, at 3(f)(2):
      • o (2) No witness served with a subpoena by the committee shall be required against his or her will to be photographed at any hearing or to give evidence or testify while the broadcasting of that hearing , by radio or television, is being conducted. At the request of any such witness who does not wish to be subjected to radio, television or still photography coverage turned off. This subparagraph is supplementary to clause 2(k)(5) of this rule, relating to the protection of the rights of witnesses.
  • The Senate has the same option with a similar rule, so their committees, if they ever choose to WORK, adhere to the same structure under Senate Rule XXVI

Regarding Whistleblowers

The Whistleblower Protection Act: An Act to amend title 5, United States Code, to strengthen the protections available to Federal employees against prohibited personnel practices, and for other purposes.

Introduced in the Senate as S. 20 by Carl Levin (D–MI) on January 25, 1989

Passed the Senate on March 16, 1989 (97-0, Roll call vote 24, via Senate.gov)

Passed the House on March 21, 1989 (Agreed voice vote)

Signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on April 10, 1989

President Barack Obama issued Presidential Policy Directive 19 (PPD-19), entitled “Protecting Whistleblowers with Access to Classified Information”. According to the law signed by Obama on October 10, 2012, it is written that “this Presidential Policy Directive ensures that employees (1) serving in the Intelligence Community or (2) who are eligible for access to classified information can effectively report waste, fraud, and abuse while protecting classified national security information. It prohibits retaliation against employees for reporting waste, fraud, and abuse.

In other words, protecting whistleblowers was a BI-PARTISAN ACT spanning decades. Note that Obama strengthened protections for whistleblowers even AFTER Edward Snowden. The key difference between what Snowden did and what is happening today is that Snowden leaked classified information to the press and not via the appropriate channels. That was because he was too scared that the information would not get where it needed before he was silenced.

There are only 2 whistleblowers that have been indicated in the impeachment proceedings. Based on the WPA, they do have rights. They have done nothing wrong and have gone through the appropriate channels with concerns about their workplace. Being threatened by their boss is exactly why the law is in place. If their boss is found not guilty, their job should still be safe. A whistleblower complaint does not rise to these types of levels unless there is actually something worth investigating. This is not indicative of a particular persons guilt, but it is indicative of something that is not working the way it should be, and that should concern every American.

Regarding Confronting Your Accuser

Perhaps basic constitutional law needs to be taught as a required course in high school. The basic tenet as an American to be allowed to confront your accuser reminds me of an image from puritan witch trials. The 6th Amendment, however, looks much different in today’s courts. Turn on any prime time law drama and you will get a better idea of what it actually means. It does not mean when someone who provides a tip or evidence is required by law to be in the courtroom as a witness and be cross examined. It definitely does not mean that the accused is allowed to speak with them or even meet them. You can equate a whistleblower with someone calling a tip line.
Aside from that, though, even if the whistleblower turned out to be a key witness in the case, it still would not give the accused the right to question them. It allows for cross-examination and unless the accused is representing themselves, only the attorney will be asking the questions.

Regarding DDR & Stasi

(This was thrown into the original argument with no relevant connection. Comparing the current process to Russian or Nazi like government is a favorite fear motivator of the talking heads even though there are no similarities).
Yes, after World War II, Germany was divided among the allies and East & West Germany came into being – DDR & BDR – Deutsche Demokratische Republik and Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Like any country, the DDR had a police and military. Like the eastern block countries, they also had police and military on steroids.
East Germany was a satellite state of the Soviet Union, a member of the Warsaw Pact and the boarder furthest to the west for the Soviet Union. It had the most robust and strongest military in the Warsaw Pact for that reason.
Yes, the Stasi motto was “Schild und Schwert der Partei” or Shield and sword of the party. They were the equivalent of the KGB, or to today’s FSB.
The Stasi did not hold trials. The Stasi was not anything like a congressional body. The Stasi was not even a resemblance of our past or current CIA or NSA.
This reference to East Germany and the Stasi is completely misplaced and ignorant.
This is also a very hypocritical due to the fact that the current administration has some of the most racist and militant in their employment.

The Constitution & Impeachment Investigation

Article 1: Section 2; clause 5 of the constitution
ARTICLE I: LEGISLATIVE
Section 1
All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
Section 2
The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.
No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.
When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.
The House of Representatives shall chose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

SCIF – what is it?

Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, in U.S. military, national security / national defense and intelligence parlance, is an enclosed area within a building that is used to process Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) types fo classified information.

A SCIF room is nothing new. Many meetings, committees, and even questioning of witnesses have happened over the entire history of congress in SCIF settings.

Why the hearings aren’t on TV like Kavanaugh’s hearings?

General Definitions
    • Deposition is a witness’s sworn out-of-court testimony. It is used to gather information as part of the discovery process and, in limited circumstances, may be used at trial. The witness being deposed is called the deponent. The deposition is to provide opposing counsel with a better understanding of a claim, held in a room without a judge present. This is similar to an inquiry.
    • A hearing is conducted in front of a judge and held in a hearing room or court. Each side has the opportunity to cross examine the witnesses and present exhibits.
    • Bret Kavanaugh, and any Supreme Court nominee, sat in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee for a confirmation hearing. Most of the confirmation hearings are available to public viewing, however, there are some matters that are determined to be matters of national security and are heard behind closed doors.
Currently in the House, there are six committees involved in the actual impeachment inquiry. Please note here, this is an inquiry at this point, not a hearing. Those committees are:

  1. Financial Services (26 Republican representatives sit on this committee)
  1. Judiciary (17 Republican representatives sit on this committee, including Matt Gaetz of Florida and Jim Jordan of Ohio)
  1. Intelligence (9 Republican representatives sit on this committee, including Devin Nunes of California as the Ranking member)
  1. Foreign Affairs (21 Republican representatives sit on this committee)
  2. Oversight & Reform (18 Republican representatives sit on this committee, including Jim Jordan of Ohio as the Ranking member)
  3. Ways & Means (17 Republican representatives sit on this committee, including Devin Nunes of California)
Because the INQUIRY is a FACT FINDING MISSION, & not judge, jury & executioner, these committees & witnesses are being held behind closed doors. They are not being done in secret as Rep. Gaetz & Representative Jordan would like you to believe. As you can see above, not only are there republicans on each & every committee, but many of the representatives that are crying foul are on these very committees, even as ranking members.

Not A Kangaroo Court

A kangaroo court is a court that ignores recognized standards of law or justice, and often carries little or no official standing in the territory within which it resides. – Wikipedia
Congress is not holding court, nor a trial. They are currently following the guidelines for gathering evidence in an impeachment inquiry granted to congress under the powers of the constitution. The origin of the term actually means a court that benefits the defendant, not the prosecutor.

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