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Writer’s Lounge – Lev Parnas’ Dead Man’s Switch, Voting Technology, Impeachment


Dead Man’s Switch


comic book graphic style illustration of a finger pressing a button referred to as a "Dead Man's Switch"

A “Dead Man’s Switch” is defined by its Wiki listing as, “usually used as a form of fail-safe where they stop a machine with no operator from a potentially dangerous action or incapacitate a device as a result of accident, malfunction, or misuse.”

The term has also been used in the world of counter-intelligence and intrigue as a tactic employed by an agent, operative or individual who might be a target of termination “with extreme prejudice”, either by an internal or external hostile entity. The subject at risk would give a colleague documentation or time the release of information that would compromise his opponent in the event of his untimely demise. 

photo of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, both arrested in October 2019 for campaign finance violations, now providing information on Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani's attempt to compel Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Former Rudy Giuliani and now confirmed, Donald Trump associate Lev Parnas has taken the basic concept of the “Dead Man’s Switch” and simply adopted it as a pre-emptive tactic instead of after the fact.

As soon as Parnas and his colleague Igor Fruman were arrested at Dulles International on October 9 of last year with tickets to Vienna, Austria – Parnas had a plan B in place, clearly aware of the fact that he and Fruman were parties to activities and conversations that, if compelled to disclose, placed a target on their backs. 

To be more specific, both men, known in Trump circles as the “Florida fixers” – could tie all the players in the Ukraine bribery / extortion operation together and that includes a man with a long history of dealings with organized crime, domestic and Russian – Donald Trump.

It’s not much of a stretch to assume that Trump has arm’s length access to some elements of those crime syndicates that could shut both Parnas and Fruman up permanently. But one of the two men, Parnas, wasted no time inoculating himself from a showing up on a “take out” menu. He began throwing out feelers to the FBI team that conducted the investigation, immediately, pledging cooperation in following the breadcrumbs back to the rat pack, Giuliani, Pompeo, Barr and Trump.

More recently, he released a trove of documents to House committees, bolstering the evidence they already have collected from White House and State Department officials

Among the remarkably damning pieces of evidence is  Trump attorney Jay Sekulow emailing former Trump attorney John Dowd, on October 2, stating that , “I have discussed the issue of representation with the president. The president consents to allowing your representation of Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman.”

This, of course betrays Trump’s public claims that he did not know either of the two men, while also begging the question, why would Trump lie about this fact unless his association with them, casts him as the mob boss of the Ukraine operation? 

MSNBC tweet with quote from Rachel Maddow guest Lev Parnas, a former associate and operative of Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump.

And on Wednesday, Parnas gave explosive interviews to CNN and MSNBC – Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow, respectively.

Now that the central theme of the Trump Ukraine operation has been exposed to public, legal and legislative view, there is no value or upside in terminating either of the two men. All that is left is to speculate whether or not Parnas’ and by extension, Fruman’s disclosures, have anything to do with Putin deciding to cut Donald Trump adrift now that his usefulness has been compromised by the impeachment proceedings. 

Parnas has also cheekily shouted out to the president that he has enough meeting photos of him and Trump, to upload one every time Trump continues to assert that he “doesn’t know” Parnas.  All Trump has in response to what Mr. Parnas has already disclosed is that the “whole thing is a hoax”, which is in keeping with the fact that people under stress repeat themselves. 

The Genie is out of the bottle now and Parnas is, if not a free man, much more personally secure than he was on October 1, 2019. 

by Richard Cameron

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The Impeachment Trial and the Election

Consequent to this late breaking sequence of events, there is widespread speculation not only on what impact it will have on the Senate trial of Trump, slated to begin next week, but to what degree it will shape the prospects of the campaign and the election in November.

Assuming – which at this time, it is safe to do so, that 67 votes are not forthcoming to convict and remove Trump from the White House, the result of the Senate vote will be a president whose approval ratings have never come even within striking distance of 50 percent, limping into the general election in November.

The trial, if it takes shape as expected, will produce witness testimony that will confirm in the minds of a majority of voters that Trump has engaged in abuse of power and a concerted effort to cover up that abuse of power. That means that Trump is now locked into the base election strategy he has been pursuing up to now.

Trump’s base, is operating in perpetual Masonic initiation mode with the voluntary ‘hoodwinking’ (blindfold) and the proud bondage of the cabletow (hands tied behind the back) – both of which symbolize submission to deceit and manipulation. Most of us would consider this humiliating, but not Trump voters.

So that and the sub group of evangelicals who attend Trump’s rallies as “devotionals”, are, for the most part, baked into the cake. But unless the economy stops stagnating despite the stock market’s misleading impressions, Trump has no means to expand outward from his base. 

Trump certainly has not given anyone other than his sycophants confidence in his handling of national security or foreign policy. This makes for a lane so narrow as to resemble an egg passing through a drinking straw.

Independents, swing voters and Republican women in suburbs, have seen all they need to see of Trump’s conduct, to not repeat the mistake they might have made in 2016. Republican “strategists” believe there are still potential voters that did not show up to the polls that they can “energize” to come out for Trump in 2020. This is not reality based, but it does make a good tune to whistle through the graveyard.

The only remaining hope is Russian hacking of our election systems. Many states with the most vulnerable voting machines are implementing paper ballot verification strategies in the event that an intrusion or tampering is suspected. 

by Richard Cameron


For a look at how voting could be brought into the 21st century and be shielded from cyber attacks, Shannon D. Hanson has written a report about the technology and expertise that is already at the government’s disposal if they would take advantage of it.


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