The definition of incontrovertible, according to Merriam-Webster, is
“not open to question : indisputable.
At this point in my life I have no expectation of ever being a lawyer or a commentator on a cable news show. Incontrovertible. At this point, my biggest bitch is with the commentators on cable news shows. In my lifetime, the news story that most closely parallels the whole Mueller probe controversy is the OJ Simpson trial. We haven’t learned to eliminate the smoke and still allow ourselves to be, too often, “baffled with bullshit”. At the time of the Simpson verdict, I was working with a single Mom, African American, who believed that Simpson had been set up. Long story short, I changed her opinion by running through all the facts that were INCONTROVERTIBLE and illustrating that none of those facts, as you moved to narrower and narrower parameters of who still fell within the fact, excluded OJ.
Today, as in the past, facts are too often ignored or distorted as those who don’t like the facts attempt to use bullshit to baffle people. We have experts at using lies and misdirection, fueled by people’s preconceived political viewpoints. But, facts are facts and my biggest bitch with cable news commentators, news directors, is that we almost never require “guests” to be confronted with and answer to incontrovertible facts. At times, a “guest’s” time becomes essentially a political ad with no attempt to legitimately answer questions and I believe that is because they are not asked questions that can be reduced to yes or no answers by having them based upon incontrovertible facts.
A couple of examples as Republicans trip over themselves to declare our President “exonerated”, of questions I would ask. “Have you read the Mueller Report.“ Hint, answer should be No. “Do you know how many pages the Mueller Report is?” Again, the only answer that can be true based upon available public knowledge is, No. “So you are willing to state as fact something based upon a judgement of one man, from an almost two year investigation which that man did not participate in, that you haven’t read yourself and don’t even know how many pages you haven’t read?” That is even sadder than it is laughable.
As mentioned before, the reality is that I am not a lawyer and never will be but one thing I know about myself is that I am a curious person and somewhere along the line I developed decent critical thinking skills. Read the Barr summary critically and you should have a number of questions that have enormous import in understanding exactly what Barr is asserting in his “conclusions”.
First, although Barr cites numerous statistics regarding the almost two year investigation, he does not include any information on how many pages his four page summary is applied to. Curious to me. On page two, Barr addresses the buzz word. “collusion” which I’m sure by now we all know is not a crime with the crime actually being conspiracy, a very difficult crime to prove. My first question for Mr. Barr would be to define the term used multiple times, “Russian government.” Which Russians whose names have appeared over and over, and many whose names only appeared in indictments, fall within the scope of “Russian government”? Does that term include the attendees at the Trump Tower meeting? Kalimnik? Deripaska? The Agalarovs? The guy who met with Erik Prince, by chance, in a hotel bar in the far off Seychelles Islands?
Again, no lawyer am I but also on page two it appears that the parameters of conspiracy or collusion are incredibly narrow, which may be the law, and even narrower if some of the names mentioned above are not considered within the term used, “Russian government”. The footnote on page two appears to illustrate just how narrowly the considerations needed for guilty beyond a reasonable doubt were applied. Read the footnote and the implication is that short of a document that says, “On this day of January 1, 2016. the undersigned hereby agree to the following………” Wrapped up with signatures V. Putin and Donald J. Trump. Consider that Barr’s logic then says that because there was no provable conspiracy, at least beyond a moral and ethical level, there then could be no obstruction of justice.
Suppose that I had a friend and I knew that he was embezzling funds from his company. He had started embezzling long before I found out that he was embezzling. I was totally disconnected from what he was doing except that I knew about it. Nothing I was doing, except my silence, which although morally and ethically was wrong, was illegal on my part. Although I accepted tickets to Fenway Park or a Patriots game, we had no agreement, “tacit or expressed”, and, again, I was not a participant in the embezzlement, I’m free and clear if at some point the embezzlement is discovered and my friend is prosecuted. How different is that from what we’ve experienced in the leadup to the 2016 election and the following two years?
Back up now to the word “incontrovertible” and how in an era when we are told, “don’t believe what you see with your own eyes or hear with your own ears…….believe me.” Back up again to what I think the questions that news programs should be asking of the people who are choosing to treat a four page summary of a two year long investigation, that does not contain even one complete sentence from the Mueller Report, as divine truth and absolution. Ask yourself when it became acceptable to tolerate morally and unethical behavior just because it may not fall clearly within the narrow definition of a given law that defines what is illegal.
Incontrovertible. On June 9, 2016 there was a meeting in Trump Tower that included numerous Russians, the Trump Campaign Manager, the President’s son and the President’s son-in-law. News folks, ask the total exoneration crowd, “did that event occur?“ The meeting was set up as a result of a string of emails. News folks, put up graphic of the email text, and ask, “as you understand it, is the graphic accurate as to what was conveyed to Donald Trump Jr,?” We’ve all by now seen the text that would be displayed:
“The Crown prosecutor of Russia…offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.”
Goldstone also wrote that the information “is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
Trump Jr. writes to Goldstone on the chain, “if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
All of those quotes have long ago been shown to be incontrovertibly true and since they have been shown to be true, illustrate the importance of understanding how Barr defines the term “Russian government”. Incontrovertibly, at least one attendee, Donald Trump Jr., thought he was meeting people who were representing the Russian government.
Now, move ahead a bit and, news folks, play at least the first few minutes of the following clip, being sure to reference the date of the clip which was recorded during the RNC, which took place over a month later than the incontrovertible Trump Tower meeting. Really? The total lack of ethics and morality displayed in the statements made by Trump Jr. are unsupportable, hypocritical to the Nth degree, and should be projectile vomit inducing to anyone who believes in our democracy. News folks, ask if Jr’s statements meet their standards for ethics and morality. Ask, “if anyone knew for sure, 100% incontrovertibly, that Russians were indeed looking to interfere in our election, who knew it better than those who attended the meeting in Trump Tower?” News folks, ask, “who was Donald Trump Jr. serving with those knowingly, incontrovertibly, false statements?” “The American people? Were those the statements of a patriot?”
For news folks, at this point, you should have multiple questions in the chamber if your “guest” is still with you.
“Did you know about the Trump Tower meeting when it occurred in June 2016?”
“When did you first learn of the Trump Tower meeting and how did you learn of it?”
“How would you account for the length of time between when the meeting occurred and when it became public?”
“What would have happened if someone in the meeting, or who knew about the meeting, such as a former head of the KGB, used cutouts to discreetly ask if it would be OK to tell the NYT or the WP about the meeting in the months and weeks leading up to the election? Might that represent kompromat?”
“With all the intelligence briefings of the candidates and the campaigns which started prior to the election, warning of Russian intrusion, why do you think the Trump campaign never informed the FBI? Why did they lie? ”
“Why did they demean and diminish the efforts of people tasked with protecting our democracy when they knew what they were doing was valid?”
“Why did Trump and the campaign actively take action to promote Wikileaks distribution of stolen property?”
Personally, I believe that at my age I will not live long enough to see a truly United States of America again. My resolution (just put an Elizabeth Warren sticker on my car) is to work to register voters and work to promote Senator Warren but will without a doubt vote for whomever the Democratic candidate is. I believe our democracy is at stake as is the future viability of our planet. We owe it to future generations, at home and around the world, to protect the United States as a beacon of democracy as well as insuring an environment that insures the future of the Earth.