Thursday, April 18, 2019

In Praise of Judea Pearl

Gary Fouse
Fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


This article first appeared in New English Review.


Hat tip Algemeiner, (L.A.) Jewish Journal, ZOA, Israeli-American Civic Action Network, and The Israel Group

Image result for judea pearl
Dr Judea Pearl, UCLA


“The incomprehensible blunder of the city of North Hollywood made me realize that my generation, the Counter-Holocaust Survivors of 1945-1948, is in danger of becoming extinct, and that the American public, Jews included, knows close to nothing about the intended Arab genocide of 1947-1948. Like European Holocaust survivors, we must bear witness.”
-Dr Judea Pearl, UCLA


On a campus that has had more than its share of lunacy and anti-Semitic expressions the past several years, UCLA professor Judea Pearl stands out like a shining star. Pearl is the father of slain journalist, Daniel Pearl, a victim of Islamic terror in Pakistan. Dr Pearl has long had to contend with campus anti-Semites posing as human rights activists on behalf of the Palestinian cause. This week, Dr Pearl has twice taken the lead in making a principled stand.

In the wake of New York University (NYU) presenting their "President's Service" award to Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Pearl has notified NYU that he is renouncing his status as a distinguished alumnus.

Dr Pearl also refused an invitation to join a panel for a post-film discussion on the controversial anti-Israel film, 1948-Creation and Catastrophe, which was put on by the municipality of West Hollywood on April 16.

I commend Dr Pearl for both of his actions. In the latter case, what is the point of being the only pro-Israel member of a panel that is made up of anti-Israel activists like Robin Kelly, Sandy Tolan, and James Gelvin, not to mention the moderator, Estee Chandler (Jewish Voice for Peace)?

As we have previously reported, this one-sided "documentary" was recently shown at UC Irvine, presented by the two producers and moderated by UCI comedian, Mark LeVine, who, when he isn't teaching whatever he teaches at UCI, is a frequent speaker against Israel.

Here is an article from Jewish Journal (Los Angeles) on the film's showing in West Hollywood on April 16. It  features the above quote from Professor Pearl.

The pro-Palestinian movement in the US is masked as a human rights movement. It is actually a thinly disguised effort to bring about the downfall of Israel and the removal of Jews from the Middle East. It is anti-Semitic to its core. As for Students for Justice in Palestine, they are nothing more than a national organization of brown-shirts who use tactics of intimidation and disruption to further their cause. Sadly, there are even American Jews who have linked arms with this movement.

Dr Judea Pearl is not one of them.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Why the Criticism of William Barr is Unfair

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


Now that the Mueller investigation has finally come to an end, Democrats, the media, and Hollywood celebrities are having a major hissy fit trying to figure out how to keep the collusion mantra going. Some have accused Mueller of being a Russian agent just like President Trump. Far fetched? Of course, but that's the direction that the Democrats and media have gone.

Then there is the matter of Attorney General William Barr, newly appointed by Trump and confirmed by the Senate. Barr is a much respected professional who served as AG under George H W Bush. He is a convenient target not only because he is a political appointee, and a Republican, but wrote a memo back in 2017 criticizing Mueller's investigation of possible obstruction of justice by the president. His critics are now charging that he took the Mueller report and made the final call on whether to charge any crimes. Thus, the reasoning goes, the final call was made by a political appointee of the president.

On the surface, that may sound like a reasonable argument. The problem is that this is the procedure that was supposed to be followed. The special prosecutor was, indeed, tasked to submit his final report to the attorney general. He could make recommendations, such as to charge certain people or not to charge. Mueller's judgment was that no further indictments were called for, there was no evidence that Trump or his campaign colluded with the Russians, and finally, he could make no conclusion as to the question of obstruction of justice by Trump.

More importantly, it would have been far more troubling had Barr overruled the conclusions and recommendations of Mueller. The special prosecutor situation is somewhat unique within federal law enforcement, but it can be compared to when investigators from a federal agency,  like the FBI, present a case report to the US Attorney's Office. When the investigative team, in this case, led by Mueller, submits its case report to the prosecutor, in this case Barr, it is the latter who makes the decision on whether to go ahead with prosecution, indictments etc.  If the investigators cannot present a prosecutable case to the prosecutor, it would be the height of folly and unethical for the prosecutor to indict. If the investigators want to charge someone, they need to present a solid case to the prosecutor. (Again, consider Mueller to be the investigator here.) This is something Mueller failed to do.

On the other hand, had Mueller presented a prosecutable case to the attorney general, and Barr declined to prosecute, then the Democrats would have an argument. Of course, this is not even taking into account the legal question of whether a sitting president could be prosecuted in the first place.

There is much to criticize Mueller about over the manner in which he conducted this two-year investigation. In the end, he presented, in my opinion, an honest and proper conclusion as to the president. Barr has followed his role to the letter. If the Democrats in Congress want to keep beating this dead horse, they do so at their political peril.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Democrats' Abuse of the Law

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


As I write this piece, we are still awaiting Robert Mueller's report on the Trump-Russian collusion investigation to be handed over to the attorney general, possibly sometime this week. Even the Democrats seem to know that Mueller has found no evidence that Trump had anything to do with the Russians' attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

No matter. Already, the House Democrats (who are now in charge of the House of Representatives) are signalling their intentions to launch numerous investigations of every aspect of Trump's life and career. They want his income tax returns. They want to subpoena members of his family to testify. They want to subpoena his past associates to testify. They want to subpoena former White House staff to testify. Even diplomatic interpreters who sat between Trump and Vladimir Putin. Already, they have dragged in discredited lawyer Michael Cohen to tell them and the nation that Trump is a "racist, a con-man, and a liar". It is clear that the Democrat controlled House under committee chairmen like Jerrold Nadler and Adam Schiff are determined to either impeach the President or at the very least, make him unelectable in 2020.

Partisanship aside, here is where they are going wrong, and I say this based on my experience as a retired federal agent (Drug Enforcement Administration). Law enforcement's job is to investigate crimes. That is, when a crime is committed, it is the job of law enforcement to determine who committed the crime. We investigate individuals based on information that they may have committed a crime. What the Democrats are now doing is taking an individual (Trump) and trying to find out everything they can about him in the hopes of finding something-anything- that he has done wrong in his life and career both prior to and during his political career. That is against the very spirit of the law in a free society. There are very few of us who could undergo such scrutiny, and I say this as someone who not only enforced the law but who has obeyed the law.  That said, most all of us have something in our past that at the very least, would sink our chances if we were running for elective office.

What the Democrats in Congress are now saying is this: "Here is the individual (Trump). Let us find the crime." To that, I say, "What is the crime?" Answer (and I have heard this said)? "That's why we need to investigate."

What if we turn all this around and say, "Let's investigate every aspect of Rep. Nadler's life-or Adam Schiff's life. We'll find something eventually. How about Maxine Waters seeing that she has gone off unhinged again at Trump this week? How quickly would we find dirt on her if she were put under the microscope? One day of hearings would be all it takes, but that's not going to happen.

This is not to suggest that Trump is a choir boy-far from it. I could be proven all wrong if tomorrow, Mueller hands over convincing evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians even though even the Democrats seem to know that will not be the case. If that is, indeed, the result of Mueller's investigation, then the Democrats in Congress are reduced to going back to square one and launching multiple investigations against an individual in the hopes of finding a crime. That is not what our criminal justice system is supposed to be about. That is a KGB tactic, whether done by police or political parties in charge of one branch of government.

I also want to address the issue of Trump's tax returns. The Democrats are demanding that he turn them over because they are convinced that a thorough examination of his multi-billion dollar business dealings will eventually reveal something. That is possible, but not the point. The point is that tax returns are private and Trump is under no obligation to show them to anybody. Let me give you an example. When I was a DEA agent-and US Customs agent before that- I had occasion to work often with IRS's Criminal Investigation Division. They were an effective tool in tracing the financial dealings of drug traffickers. However, I never had the ability to gain access to IRS tax returns (unless under specified and very limited circumstances). Were an IRS agent to share someone's tax returns with me, we would have been both liable to prosecution. So Trump should basically give the middle finger to those demands. Is he hiding something? Who knows? He is, however, within his legal  rights, and at the moment, legal rights are more important than ever.

Why? We have already witnessed the abuses of the FBI in whitewashing the crimes of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and manufacturing a case against candidate Trump. A cabal at the highest levels of the FBI and Justice Department have abused their powers and tried to interfere in an election because they could not abide the thought of Trump actually defeating Clinton. It is arguably the biggest political scandal in our nation's history. And it isn't over yet. The Democrat party is actively trying to overturn the results of an election. Plan A was to tie Trump to the efforts of the Russian government to influence our election. With that effort apparently about to fail, Plan B is to start with the individual (Trump) and find a crime-any crime. That is not what our criminal justice system is all about.