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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.com

 

Evidence is mounting that the White House rollout of a so-called “space force” is simply a way for Trump’s re-election campaign to rake in more cash.

The Pentagon has shown little to no intention of indulging Trump’s fantasies of a new, space-oriented branch of the U.S. military on par with the other five branches of the armed services.

But within one hour of Mike Pence’s speech at the Pentagon Thursday about the supposed “space force,” the Trump campaign sent an email urging supporters to pick a logo for campaign gear.

The email, signed by Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale, said, “As a way to celebrate President Trump’s huge announcement, our campaign will be selling a new line of gear.”

In his speech, Pence portrayed the space force as something loftier than T-shirts and hats for Trump fans.

He invoked World War II and the struggle against Nazism, suggesting a space force as the next logical evolution in the military.

“Now the time has come to write the next great chapter in the history of our armed forces, to prepare for the next battlefield where America’s best and bravest will be called to deter and defeat a new generation of threats to our people and to our nation,” Pence said. “The time has come to establish the United States Space Force.”

He added that Trump “made it clear that our ultimate objective is to create a new branch of our military that is separate from, and equal to, five other branches.”

The Pentagon, however, seems less than disinterested in implementing the grandiose Space Force initiative.

Senior military officials are already on record questioning the bureaucracy and redundancy a fifth military branch would entail.

Also, creating a space force would require an act of Congress. Despite Trump’s Republican Party controlling both the House and Senate, they have not taken any action to turn Trump’s space force fantasy into a legislative reality.

The most recent military spending bill, appropriating billions of dollars to the armed services, includes no mention of a space force.

Neither House Speaker Paul Ryan nor Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have said anything about working on a space force bill.

However, there is opposition to the idea — from Senate Republicans.

“I’m opposed to [creating a sixth branch],” said Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the number-two Republican on Armed Services committee. “I know the president has strong feelings. I think we can do that without a new branch.”

“I’d have to be convinced that it’s the right direction to go,” said South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds. “I don’t like the idea of creating another silo. Why not simply allow the Air Force to continue in the path they are with more emphasis on space activity?”

But Trump, Pence, and the re-election campaign are focused on it anyway. And it’s not the first time Trump has used the presidency to push campaign gear.

He prominently featured a “Make Our Farmers Great Again” hat while on official business. The hat was soon on sale at his store.

As hurricanes approached last summer, Trump used his remarks on emergency preparations to push a variant of his hats as well.

Despite the press releases and the pomp and circumstance from Pence, the military and federal government show no signs of trying to make this happen.

But there will be Trump campaign merchandise available very soon.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

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  • 1.Why did Trump choose to hide certain specific files and not others at Mar-a-Lago? What were the criteria that Trump used to keep some files concealed and not others? Who selected those files? Did Trump consult or direct anyone in his selection of secret files? Trump was notorious for being too impatient to read his briefing papers, even after they had been drastically shortened and simplified. Is there the slightest evidence that he spirited these papers away so that he could consult or study them? Who besides Trump knew of the presence of the files he had concealed at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 2. Mar-a-Lago has an infamous reputation for being open to penetration even by foreign spies. In 2019, the FBI arrested a Chinese woman who had entered the property with electronic devices. She was convicted of trespassing, lying to the Secret Service, and sentenced and served eight-months in a federal prison, before being deported to China. Have other individuals with possible links to foreign intelligence operations been present at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 3. Did members of Trump's Secret Service detail have knowledge of his secret storage of the files at Mar-a-Lago? What was the relationship of the Secret Service detail to the FBI? Did the Secret Service, or any agent, disclose information about the files to the FBI?
  • 4. Trump's designated representatives to the National Archives are Kash Patel and John Solomon, co-conspirators in the investigations into Russian interference in the presidential election of 2016, the Ukraine missiles-for-political dirt scandal that led to the first impeachment in 2019, and the coup of 2020. Neither has any professional background in handling archival materials. Patel, a die-hard Trump loyalist whose last job in the administration was as chief of staff to the Acting Secretary of Defense, was supposedly involved in Trump’s “declassification” of some files. Patel has stated, “Trump declassified whole sets of materials in anticipation of leaving government that he thought the American public should have the right to read themselves."
  • The White House counsel failed to generate the paperwork to change the classification markings, but that doesn’t mean the information wasn’t declassified.” If Pat Cipollone, the White House legal counsel, did not “generate the paperwork,” was he or anyone on his staff aware at all of the declassifications? The White House Staff Secretary Derek Lyons resigned his post in December 2020. Did his successor, who held the position for a month, while Trump was consumed with plotting his coup, ever review the material found in Trump’s concealed files for declassification? Or did Patel review the material? Can Patel name any individual who properly reviewed the supposed declassification?
  • 5. Why did Trump keep his pardon of Roger Stone among his secret files? Was it somehow to maintain leverage over Stone? What would that leverage be? Would it involve Stone's role as a conduit with the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers during the coup? Or is there another pardon in Trump’s files for Stone, a secret pardon for his activities in the January 6th insurrection? Because of the sweeping nature of the pardon clause, pardons can remain undisclosed (until needed). Pardons are self-executing, require no justification and are not subject to court review beyond the fact of their timely execution. In other words, a court may verify the pardon was valid in time but has no power to review appropriateness. A pardon could even be oral but would need to be verifiable by a witness. Do the files contain secret pardons for Trump himself, members of his family, members of the Congress, and other co-conspirators?
  • 6.Was the FBI warrant obtained to block the imminent circulation or sale of information in the files to foreign powers? Does the affidavit of the informant at Mar-a-Lago, which has not been released, provide information about Trump’s monetization that required urgency in executing the warrant? Did Trump monetize information in any of the files? How? With whom? Any foreign power or entity? Was the Saudi payment from its sovereign wealth fund for the LIV Golf Tournament at Trump’s Bedminster Golf Club for a service that Trump rendered, an exchange of anything of value or information that was in the files? If it involved information in the files was it about nuclear programs? Was it about the nuclear program of Israel? How much exactly was the Saudi payment for the golf tournament? The Saudi sovereign wealth fund gave Jared Kushner and former Trump Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin $2 billion for their startup hedge fund, Affinity Partners. Do the Saudis regard that investment as partial payment for Trump’s transfer of nuclear information? Were Kushner or Mnuchin aware of the secret files at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 7.Did Trump destroy any of the files? If so, when? Did those files contain incriminating information? Did he destroy any files after he received the June subpoena?
  • 8.Were any of the secrets of our allies compromised? Has the U.S. government provided an inventory of breaches or potential breaches to our allies?
  • 9.Does the resort maintain a copying machine near the classified documents that Trump hid? Were any of the documents copied or scanned? Are Trump’s documents at Mar-a-Lago originals or copies? Were any copies shown or given to anyone?
  • 10.Trump’s lawyer Christina Bobb has revealed that a video surveillance system covers the places where Trump hid the files at Mar-a-Lago, and that the system is connected to a system at his other residences at the Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey and Trump Tower in New York City. According to Bobb, Trump and members of his family observed the FBI search and seizure of his files at Mar-a-Lago, “actually able to see the whole thing” through their surveillance system. Who has that surveillance system recorded entering the rooms where the files were kept?

Kevin Bacon, right, in "The Following"

The aftermath of the August 8, 2022 search of the Mar-a-Lago club, former President Donald Trump’s Florida home, isn’t the first showdown between the FBI and a cult leader.

The Following, a 2013 Fox Pictures series, played out in similar fashion. Three seasons was enough for the producers and it’s been nine years since our introduction to Joe Carroll, English professor-novelist-serial killer, so there’s a spoiler risk -- but not enough to prevent the comparison.

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