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RealClearInvestigations' Picks of the Week

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RealClearInvestigations' Picks of the Week
November 7 to November 13, 2021

Featured Investigation:
Medical Research Rapidly Adopts
'Systemic Racism' as Undisputed Truth,
Risking Its Scientific Credibility

In the wake of covid and the George Floyd murder, medical researchers en masse have seized on “systemic racism” as the canonical explanation for black health disparities, John Murawski reports in a new two-part series for RealClearInvestigations.

The controversial trend has swept through the profession with stunning velocity, conferring upon the study of systemic racism the imprimatur of scholarly authority and even settled science, he reports:

  • The prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association has stated that systemic racism is a scientific fact beyond dispute.
  • The National Institutes of Health is dedicating $90 million to the study of racial health disparities, and top officials there issued an apology to all who have suffered from structural racism in biomedical research.
  • Hundreds of recent articles in top medical journals show that the academic study of racial justice is no longer the sole domain of non-scientific university departments, such as sociology, literature and education. See Part 2.
  • The rapid turn of events has blindsided traditional doctors put off by the intense focus on race.
  • “The whole field is intellectually corrupt,” says a recently retired top medical academic. 
  • Intimidation: Skeptics worry about career blowback if they buck the new orthodoxy.
  • It's not inconceivable that blaming an entire national culture for racial disparities will prompt independent scholars and conservative think tanks to produce opposing research that explores black-on-black murder, racial disparities in IQ testing and other taboo subjects. 

Featured Investigation
Danchenko Indictment:
How Dossier Non-Source Sergei Millian Was Framed

Sergei Millian was long cited as the source behind explosive allegations of Trump-Russia collusion in the Steele dossier. But Special Counsel John Durham’s latest indictment lays waste to that story as it details the alleged lies of Igor Danchenko, key "analyst" behind the dossier. In response, the Washington Post, a prominent amplifier of the discredited Trump-Russia collusion theory, has deleted and corrected much of its reporting on Millian.

It turns out that the dossier’s “primary sub-source” (Danchenko) had a primary source himself -- who never existed. Millian, a Belarus-born New York realtor and Trump supporter, was produced as a fall guy to wrongly accuse instead.

In RealClearInvestigations, Paul Sperry sorts out the mendacity swirling around the Millian deception:

  • The FBI knew in 2017 that Danchenko had invented Millian as a source, but continued using his supposed claims in FISA applications to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Danchenko was “truthful and cooperative,” agents swore under oath.
  • The FBI ignored internal warnings Danchenko might be feeding investigators “disinformation” and concealed from the court both prior FBI concerns Danchenko himself was a Russian spy, and exculpatory information that its target Page had served the FBI and CIA as an asset against Russia.
  • When Millian was outed as a critical dossier source in 2017, he denied it to the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. They dismissed his claims, Millian tells RCI, because of their trust in ex-Journal reporter-turned-opposition researcher Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, who commissioned and promoted the dossier.
  • Fusion’s Nellie Ohr, wife of then-top Justice Department official Bruce, originally dug up Millian’s name, and the rest was fake history.
  • Bruce Ohr, like Danchenko, then fed Millian fabrications to the FBI.
  • Durham’s probe continues -- with Ohr now in his sights.

Featured Investigation:
New Twists in Durham Probe:
FBI Danchenko Recordings and
Suspicions Fiona Hill Lied

The indictment of Igor Danchenko, the “primary sub-source” of Christopher Steele’s infamous dossier, reveals that the FBI electronically recorded several previously undisclosed interviews with the Brookings Institution researcher, Eric Felten reports for RealClearInvestigations. 

Separately, Felten reports, the indictment is raising suspicions among lawmakers that Danchenko's Brookings superior Fiona Hill may have committed perjury when testifying about Steele during President Trump’s first impeachment.

Felten reports:

  • The recordings of Danchenko speaking to the FBI far more extensively than previously known creates the possibility that much more will come out about the origins of the dossier. 
  • Those under scrutiny in Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation will have to wonder whether their stories jibe with the Danchenko recordings.
  • According to Durham’s Nov. 3 indictment of Danchenko, the FBI conducted interviews with him in March, May, June, October, and November of 2017 -- well beyond the three days of interviews at the beginning of 2017 previously and widely disclosed.
  • In the first Trump impeachment, Hill emphatically denied knowledge of anything Steele-related: “I have no knowledge whatsoever of how he developed that dossier. None. I just want to state that.”
  • But the indictment says she had a central role in connecting key dossier players: Steele, Danchenko, and Hillary Clinton ally Chuck Dolan. Republican lawmakers ask: How could Hill have had “no knowledge whatsoever"?

Featured Investigation
Now Playing to Your Left:
America's 'Paranoid Style'

The much-ballyhooed "paranoid style" of the American right is a red herring, the left's misleading distortion of a famed liberal historian who actually explored conspiracy-mindedness as a universal human trait, Eric Felten writes for RealClearInvestigations. And new proof can be found, Felten argues, in a “paranoid style” alive and well on the American left today.

In a reported essay, Felten writes:

  • Richard Hofstadter, Cold War-era author of “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” lives on in the left’s zeal for right-bashing. Hillary Clinton recently agreed with an interviewer that her critics reflected an enduring “paranoid streak in American politics.”
  • But a deeper dive into the historian’s thesis finds “grandiose theories of conspiracy” are not confined to the conservative stripe of Hofstadter’s archetypical conspiracy monger, Sen. Joseph McCarthy. And interestingly, the key word for Hofstadter, one repeated throughout his essay, is "vast.”
  • Felten suggests Clinton has been a modern exemplar of the paranoid style for decades -- whether in imagining a “vast right-wing conspiracy” out to destroy her philandering husband or in claiming she lost the 2016 election because Donald Trump was in bed with Vladimir Putin.
  • Felten marshals numerous other examples. Focused on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the left warns that the institutions of government are under assault by shadowy, treasonous forces. 
  • Leftists warn that suburban parents of grade-schoolers should be regarded not just as white supremacists but also “domestic terrorists” for their backlash against woke educational policies.
  • Not to be outdone, environmental activists regularly assure us that imminent cataclysm threatens the very survival of life on this planet. 

Biden, Trump and the Beltway

What Did the FBI Have on Danchenko? 
The Reactionary/Substack
Special Counsel John Durham’s indictment of Igor Danchenko has opened numerous threads of inquiry -- among them a pivotal question raised in this article: What did the FBI know and when did it know it about the questionable sources of the dossier compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele?

When the FBI in June 2017 interviewed Danchenko, by that time already discredited as Steele's primary source, the bureau seemingly also knew about his links to Hillary Clinton ally Charles Dolan. Danchenko allegedly lied about these ties.

The author also surmises from additional disclosures in the indictment that the FBI was aware of another Danchenko source, Russian PR executive Olga Galkina -- a Clinton supporter who hoped to gain access to the State Department under a Clinton administration. The feds would have known all of this before submitting the fourth FISA warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, on suspicion he was a Russian agent and part of a “well-coordinated conspiracy of co-operation” between Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin. Quote:

Under the FISA Court’s local rule 13, the FBI/DOJ had a duty to inform the Court of the new information, as they were material facts relevant to the Carter Page applications: (1) that Danchenko was a liar; (2) that Danchenko’s real “source” was a Hillary Clinton ally with deep ties to the Clintons; and (3) that Danchenko’s purported Russian source (Galkina) was expecting benefits (employment) based on her support of Clinton. …

And the FBI/DOJ saw to it that this information stayed hidden from the FISA Court (and from the public, until just a few days ago).

However, the DOJ did send a July 2018 letter to the FISA Court, reassuring them that the FBI found Danchenko “to be truthful and cooperative.”

The DOJ communicated this FBI assessment to the FISA Court, and thus adopted it for themselves, despite Danchenko’s obvious lies in his January 2017 interview (about his contacts with Russian intelligence) and the FBI’s recognition, in February 2017, that Danchenko wasn’t being truthful. …

Why did the FBI vouch for Danchenko’s credibility? As the attorney going by the name Techno Fog speculates:

Because in covering for Danchenko, the FBI and DOJ were covering for themselves, hiding their own misconduct and lies and violations of Constitutional rights – and, at the same time, keeping the Trump/Russia investigation alive.

A related article in the Washington Free Beacon provides more detail on the doings of Clinton confidante Dolan.

Legal scholar Jonathan Turley pulls on a different thread revealed by the Danchenko indictment at his Res ipsa loquitur blog: The myriad ties between the liberal Brookings Institution think-tank, the Steele dossier’s architects, and the propagators of the Russian collusion narrative. On the dossier, as Turley details, Danchenko was introduced to Christopher Steele by Brookings’ Fiona Hill; Brookings’ then-president Strobe Talbott was, according to Turley’s account of Steele testimony delivered in court, “involved in briefings and inquiries on the development of the dossier;” Talbott sat next to then-Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, currently at Brookings, when Steele was summoned to the State Department for a briefing on his dossier. These are just some of the many connections that may yet be further untangled as Durham’s investigation proceeds. 

More Biden, Trump and the Beltway

Swiss Billionaire Behind Bankroll of Biden Climate Push Free Beacon
Biden Admin Is Amassing Gun Owners' Records Free Beacon
Feds Target Project Veritas Over Lost Ashley Biden Diary NY Times
Trump Backers Who Threatened Vote Officials Reuters
Book Excerpt: The Man Who Made Jan. 6 Possible Atlantic
Kerry Fights Ban on Chinese Slave Labor Goods Free Beacon
The Bush Family Love Affair With China American Conservative
CIA Changes Hiring to Lure Look-at-Me Gen Z Washingtonian
Why Can’t the Military Fix Its Violence Against Women Problem? Elle
How These Ultrawealthy Politicians Avoided Taxes ProPublica

Other Noteworthy Articles and Series

Calif.: Colonialism, Power, Race in Ethnic Studies Classes
Los Angeles Times
What will California’s ethnic studies curriculum look like when it’s mandated by 2030? This article provides a window into what some will see as a dystopic future by profiling two elective California ethnic studies classrooms purportedly demonstrating “teachers’ intent on creating an environment without judgment, one where students are learning as much about their own cultural roots as those of others.”

One scene described at Culver City High finds senior Talaya Poindexter and her classmates considering the question: What is settler colonialism? “A group of people coming into another person’s land or any space, or property or territory, and replacing their beliefs with theirs, and their traditions, and taking over their culture,” Talaya says to her classmates. Just the day before, Talaya said, she read an article about how Native children were separated from their home by the U.S. government and forced to live with white families, a symptom of the legacy of settler colonialism. “It’s very heartbreaking, you know, because not a lot of us learn about this every day in regular history class,” she explained.

In another scene, Talaya’s teacher Kimberly Young asks: Of the five elements of oppression — violence, exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, cultural imperialism — which ones relate to settler colonialism?  One student offered a connection to all five: “In order to take their land, you have to leave them powerless, exploit them, culturally take everything from them in order to be settled, to colonize the land. So the five faces of oppression kind of go hand in hand with it because oppression is colonization.” “Wow,” Young replied. “That was like boom, the whole thing, done.”

For more on California’s ethnic studies program -- and something of a corrective to the romanticized spin on it provided in this piece -- see John Murawski’s reporting for RealClearInvestigations from March 2021.

In a related piece, the Los Angeles Times details an associated trend in California’s largest school districts -- Los Angeles and San Diego Unified -- doing away with grading under the banner of equity. In a bid to “close large academic gaps among racial, ethnic and economic groups,” said districts ...

... have recently directed teachers to base academic grades on whether students have learned what was expected of them during a course — and not penalize them for behavior, work habits and missed deadlines. The policies encourage teachers to give students opportunities to revise essays or retake tests to show that they have met learning goals, rather than enforcing hard deadlines.

Arizona: School Board, Cops Coordinated to Arrest Parents 
Daily Caller
Classes like those contemplated under California’s Ethnic Studies curriculum have generated a backlash nationwide. This article recounts how an Arizona school board coordinated with the Chandler Police Department to gather information on concerned parent groups and arrest unmasked parents at school board meetings. The Chandler Unified School District’s Director of School Safety was in communication with Sergeant Greg Howarth, a Chandler police officer, in April and May, as parents were protesting mandatory masking in schools, according to emails obtained by the blog “Not in our Schools.” Howarth was tasked with aggregating intelligence on local concerned parent groups, all of whom are adamantly opposed to the critical race theory-inspired curriculum being taught in the district.

Countries’ Climate Pledges Built on 'Fantasy' Data 
Washington Post
Many countries vastly underreport their greenhouse gas emissions to the United Nations, this article reports, throwing doubt on data relied upon by the tens of thousands who recently descended on Glasgow for the COP26 climate conference. An examination of 196 country reports reveals a giant gap between what nations declare their emissions to be versus accepted measures of the greenhouse gases they are sending into the atmosphere. The gap ranges from at least 8.5 billion tons annually to as high as 13.3 billion tons a year of underreported emissions — larger than the yearly emissions of the United States at the low end, and enough, the article’s authors claim, to move the needle on how much the Earth will warm.

A Cop Reporting Cop Brutality Can End a Cop's Career 
USA Today
To many in law enforcement, snitching against another cop is a betrayal that can’t go unpunished. Those who enforce this code – the blue wall of silence – have stuffed dead rats and feces into fellow officers’ lockers. They’ve issued death threats, ignored requests for backup, threatened family members and planted drugs on the officers who reported misconduct. This article reports on a “pattern of behavior” that “is both destructive and widespread throughout policing,” wherein:

Departments across the country have adopted an unofficial system of retaliation that allows misconduct to persist and helps police leaders avoid accountability…[T]he profession is blind to race, gender and seniority when it comes to the punishing officers who try to expose these practices. ...

USA TODAY set out to establish, for the first time, the extent of law enforcement’s blue wall of silence and its impact on the individual officers who have defied it. In building a catalogue of more than 300 examples from the past decade, reporters found there is no wrongdoing so egregious or clear cut that a whistleblower can feel safe in bringing it to light.

Also on the criminal justice beat, this piece from South Carolina’s The State profiles those who executed criminals on behalf of the Palmetto State, and the toll it has taken on them.

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