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Investigative journalists can do most of the investigations that governments refuse to do

Posted by John T. Reed on

Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams has a WSJ op-ed today where hs says to only believe the media facts when both liberal and conservative outlets same the same and even to wait a week when they DO agree on a fact.
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We can do better than that. During my litigator career, I once read a book titled The Evidence Never Lies. The more accurate title would be The [forensic or physical] Evidence Never Lies.
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Well, you’d better examine it carefully. Remember CBS anchor Dan Rather revealing damning documents about George W. Bush. One was a letter purportedly from an Air National Guard commanding officer of W.
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Only it was in Adobe PostScript fonts. The letters were dated in the late 1960s or early 1970s. Desktop publishing began in 1985 with the Apple Laserwriter and Adobe PostScript fonts. In the 1960s and early 1970s, the military used typewriters which used equal width fonts like courier. Desktop publishing was like the linotypes used in formal printing. No one used a linotype and linotypist to create a letter with a recipient list of two or three people about an officer like Bush with a couple of carbon copies. Some nobody on the Internet pointed that out. So that physical evidence was fabricated. It cost Rather his career.
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But in general, physical evidence is reliable after it has been checked for fraud. In the Ukraine case, there are a number of US court room discovery products from a lawsuit against Hunter Biden. That is where we got the $50,000 a month payments from Burisma fact.
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Dems seem to be saying in this matter than only proof from the governments who were complicit in the Bidens’ misbehavior is legit. But we non-government investigative journalists will scour the earth looking for credible physical evidence: photos like the one of the Bidens with a Burisma partner, western bank and other financial records like SWIFT wires moving money to Burisma and from Burisma to Hunter, and so on.
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Plus, we civilians also have our whistleblowers. They are not protected by law. But when I was investigating a famous real estate guru who was suing me for three years, I constantly received tips and documents from persons who knew the guru as relatives, employees, business associates, relatives of persons who were in disputes with the guru. You would not believe all the different types of whistleblowers who offered me verbal testimony or documents or phone numbers to call or public documents to look at, on and on.
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At one point, I told the opposing attorney that I was going to know more about the guru when I was done than he knew about himself. The lawyer laughed. I assured him I was not exaggerating.
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Example, I once put on the internet that the guru was involved in a hit and run as the driver. I noted he did not have his bright lights on when driving on the back road at night when he hit the pedestrian.
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The guru went nuts on line saying there was no way I could know such a thing. I then told him how I knew it. The family of the pedestrian sued him. I spent time in the office of their lawyer in Schenectady (a long way from San Francisco) and I got a copy of the deposition the guru had given in the lawsuit. The high beams being off at the time of the accident was HIS testimony.
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I also was trying to make a timeline about the guru online (standard investigative technique). It had a gap from 1972 to 1976. I asked my readers to help. One who did not know the guru did know police criminal records. He called me and said look up your guru at the New York Department Of Corrections website in their “inmate search” box.
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I did, then did cartwheels in the backyard. Second degree robbery, guilty plea, felony, violent crime, financial crime, not a minor at the time.
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When they later agreed to settle, they admitted the thing that got them was my finding that Invisible Web (web pages that are there but not picked up by Google searches) document about his criminal record and moving it to the visible web (where it would pop up in a Google search for the guru’s name).
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So we do not need to wait for rare instances when Fox News and MSNBC agree on the facts. Civilian investigative journalists can work miracles. Government investigations should still need to be done because they have subpoena power (so did I because the guy sued me). That subpoena power produces some documents and testimony that would not otherwise come out. For example, the fact that Nixon recorded all Oval Office conversations was revealed by a Secret Service agent. Once the tapes were turned over to the government investigators, Nixon was forced to resign because they contained the so-called “smoking gun.” But I must point out that Woodward and Bernstein working for the Washington Post dug up so much evidence that the Secret Service was subpoenaed and after trying to avoid testifying, the Supreme Court forced them to.
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Admissible facts can be documents, photos, video, testimony, bank records, almanacs, letters, all sorts of things. And governments have no monopoly on finding them. They have some submonopolies on certain documents like Trump’s tax returns, but most of the evidence can be had without government.

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