Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Liar, Liar


It's #8 in the Catholic book and #9 in the Protestant book but in the book it's always Exodus 20:16. In two of the most readable, yet literal, translations it is "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor'"; in another, "you shall not give false testimony against your neighbor."

Other translations are slightly different but in all it means, in significant part: don't lie. And William Barr has done so, extensively and significantly, with great harm to the country he doesn't love.  Ruling against the Justice Department in March on a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking a full-text version of the Mueller report, Judge Reggie B. Walton, appointed to the Federal District Court in 2001 by President Bush

cited: Mr. Barr’s obfuscation about the scope of the links that investigators found between the Trump campaign and Russia, and how the report documented numerous episodes that appear to meet the criteria for obstruction of justice, echoing the complaints of many critics of Mr. Barr’s summary of the report.

The attorney general issued an initial four-page letter in March 2019 — two days after receiving the 381-page Mueller report — that purported to summarize its principal conclusions. But within days, Mr. Mueller sent letters to Mr. Barr protesting that he had distorted its findings and asking him to swiftly release the report’s own summaries. Instead, Mr. Barr made the report public only weeks later, after a fuller review to black out sensitive material.

Among the issues Judge Walton flagged: Mr. Barr declared that the special counsel had not found that the Trump campaign had conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, and left it at that.

But while Mr. Mueller did conclude that he found insufficient evidence to charge any Trump associates with conspiring with the Russians, Mr. Barr omitted that the special counsel had identified multiple contacts between Trump campaign officials and people with ties to the Russian government and that the campaign expected to benefit from Moscow’s interference.

Judge Walton also wrote that the special counsel “only concluded” that the investigation did not establish that the contacts rose to “coordination” because Mr. Mueller interpreted that term narrowly, requiring, in the report’s words, agreement that is “more than the two parties taking actions that were informed by or responsive to the other’s actions or interests.”

In addition, Mr. Barr told the public in March that Mr. Mueller had made no decision about whether the president obstructed justice, then pronounced Mr. Trump cleared of those suspicions....

The judge also blasted similar “inconsistencies” in public comments made by Mr. Barr hours before he released the redacted version of the report in April.

There are right-wingers in secular society, most notably our anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, and anti-Muslim President a trifecta!).. Moreover, the NationalCatholic Prayer Breakfast is not an official arm of the Roman Catholic Church.

Nevertheless, its Board of Directors and Founders Circle reveal it to be part of the conservative movement while it dishonestly claims to be non-partisan. It is is a reminder that there are organized, right-wing elements in that denomination as there are in evangelical Protestant Christendom. To such groups, the Ten Commandments, especially that pesky one about not bearing false witness, are a pesky inconvenience.

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