Russia 1

An illuminating article. For us, lifelong students of Communism and the modern history of Russia, almost as full of surprises as of affirmations.

Angelo M. Codevilla writes at CRB:

What 21st-century Russia is in itself, to its neighbors, and to America flows from the fact it is no longer the Soviet Union. As the red flag came down from the Kremlin on Christmas Day 1991, Russian president Boris Yeltsin, when asked what he thought of Communism, nearly wept as he replied: “I wish it had been tried somewhere else.” Vladimir Putin, who famously said that the USSR’s collapse had been a tragedy, nevertheless shares the Russian people’s consensus that their country was Communism’s first and foremost victim, and that no one knows how long it may take to live down its dysfunctions. To its neighbors, this Russia is a rebudding tsarist empire. To Americans, it is a major adversary despite the lack of clashing geopolitical interests.

After Communism

The Revolution of 1917 was possible because socialists, in Russia and throughout the Western world, believed that “present-day society”, as Karl Marx put it, is a jumble of “contradictions”, which could be resolved only by tearing down the pillars of the house. Once that was done, history would end: man and woman, farmer and industrial worker, producer and consumer, intellectual and mechanic—heretofore at odds—would live harmoniously, freely, and prosperously ever after.

Because they really believed in this utopian dream, the socialists gave absolute power to Lenin and Stalin’s Communist Party to wreck and reorganize—to break eggs in order to make a delicious omelette. But Communism, while retaining some of Marxism’s antinomian features (e.g., war on the family and on religion), became in practice almost exclusively a justification for the party’s absolute rule. For example, the economic system adopted by the Soviet Union and by other Communist regimes owed precisely zero to Marx, but was a finely tuned instrument for keeping the party in control of wealth.

The Leninist party is gone forever in Russia because, decades after its leaders stopped believing in Marxism, and after Leonid Brezhnev had freed them from the Stalinist incubus that had kept them loyal to the center, they had learned to make the party into a racket. That, and the residual antinomian features, made Russia into a kakotopia. Russian men learned to intrigue and drink on the job rather than work. Shunning responsibility for women and children, they turned Russian society into a matriarchy, held together by grandmothers. In a thoroughly bureaucratized system, each holder of a bit of authority used it to inconvenience the others. Forcing people to tell each other things that both knew not to be true—recall that “politically correct” is a Communist expression—engendered cynicism and disrespect for truth. The endless anti-religion campaigns cut the people off from one moral system and failed to inculcate another. Alcohol drowned unhappiness, life expectancies declined, and fewer Russians were born.

Religious morality? Communism not a religious morality? Not the same religious morality in certain vital respects? All red capes waving at us bulls!  But for the sake of what’s to come, we’ll only stand and paw the ground – and give a snort or two.

The Russian people rejected Communism in the only ways that powerless people can—by passivity, by turning to anything foreign to authority, and by cynicism. Nothing being more foreign to Communism than Christianity, Russians started wearing crosses, knowing that the regime frowned on this feature of the Russia that had pre-existed Communism, and would survive it.

A louder snort. But on:

No sooner had the USSR died than Russia restored the name Saint Petersburg to Peter the Great’s “window on the West”. Even under Soviet rule, Russians had gone out of their way to outdo the West in Western cultural matters—“nekulturny” (uncultured!) was, and remains, a heavy insult in Russia. Moscow let countless priorities languish as it rebuilt in record time its massive Christ the Savior cathedral to original specifications. As the Russian Orthodox church resumed its place as a pillar of the Russia that had been Christianity’s bastion against the Mongol horde as well as against the Muslim Ottomans, golden domes soon shone throughout the land. Whatever anyone might think of the Russian Orthodox church, it anchors the country to its Christian roots.

Few Americans understood Vladimir Putin’s rise to power at the close of the 20th century as the reassertion of a bankrupt, humiliated, resentful people looking to make Russia great again. Since then, Putin has rebuilt the Russian state into a major European power with worldwide influence. Poverty and a resource-based economy notwithstanding, it is on a sounder financial basis than any Western country. Corruption is within historical limits. The leadership is appreciated by the vast majority, whose national pride and solidarity dwarf those of Western publics. Nearly all Russians approve strongly of its absorption of Crimea. Russia effectively controls Ukraine’s eastern end, and has exposed the West’s incapacity to interfere militarily in the former Soviet empire. In the Middle East, Russia is now the dominant force.

In sum, the Russian bear licks its deep wounds as it growls behind fearsome defenses.

The Neighborhood

Russia’s Westernism is neither imitation nor love of the West. It is the assertion that Russia is an indispensable part of it. The Russians saved Europe from Napoleon, and from Hitler, too. That they did the latter tyrannically, as Soviets, does not, in their minds, disqualify them from their rightful place in Europe, or justify Europeans, much less Americans, trying to limit Russia’s rightful stature. Today’s Russian rulers are not gentler or nicer than the emperor who shook off the Mongol yoke—who wasn’t known as Ivan the Nice Guy. Like their forebears they are calculating Russia’s stature in terms of the limits—primarily in Europe—set by their own present power as well as by that of their immediate neighbors.

Russian writing on international affairs focuses exclusively on the country’s role as a member of the European system. By the 2030s, if not sooner, the Russian government will have filled such territory, and established such influence, as befit its own people’s and its neighbors’ realities, and will be occupied with keeping it. More than most, Putin is painfully aware of Russia’s limits. Its declining population is less than half of America’s and a tenth of China’s. Despite efforts to boost natality, its demography is likely to recover only slowly. Nor is its culture friendly to the sort of entrepreneurship, trust, and cooperation that produces widespread wealth. What, then, are Putin’s—or any Russian leader’s—national and international objectives?

As always, Ukraine is of prime interest to Russia because it is the crux of internal and external affairs. With Ukraine, Russia is potentially a world power. Without it, it is less, at best. But Putin’s pressures, disruptions, and meddlings have shown him how limited Russia’s reach into Ukraine is, and is sure to remain. Hence, Russia’s conquest of Ukraine east of the Don River signifies much less the acquisition of a base for further conquest than the achievement of modern Russia’s natural territorial limit in Europe. The 20th century’s events forever severed Ukraine and the Baltic states from Russia; even Belarus has become less compatible with it. Modern Russia is recognizing its independence, even as the Soviet Union at the height of its power effectively recognized Finland’s. As the Russian Federation’s demographic weight shifts southeastward—and Islamism continues to gain favor there—the Russian government will have to consider whether to shift its efforts from keeping the Muslim regions within the federation to expelling and building fences against them.

As the decades pass, post-Soviet Russia will have to work harder and harder to cut the sort of figure in Europe that it did under the tsars. That figure’s size is the issue. The Russian empire’s size has varied over the centuries according to the ratios between its and its neighbors’ national vigor and power. In the past, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, the Hanseatic powers, Germany, all have shrunken or swollen Russia. Borders and spheres of influence have varied. There is no reason why this should not be so in the future. Russia will neither invade Europe nor dominate it politically because its people lack the political will, and its state the capacity, to do either. During Soviet times, this will and this capacity were the product of the national and international Communist Party apparatus, now gone forever.

A glance back at this gargantuan human structure reminds us of how grateful we should be that it now belongs to history. The Communist faction that resulted from the 1918 split in the international socialist movement—like the rump socialist faction that ended up governing Europe after 1945, but unlike the fascist one—already intended to conquer the world. (Fascism, Mussolini’s invention, recalled some of ancient Rome’s peculiar institutions and symbols—the fasces was the bundle of punishing rods carried by the consuls’ lictors—and added governing Italy through business-labor-government councils. It was not for export.) Communists worldwide came under the firm control of the Soviet Party’s international division run by formidable persons like Andrei Zhdanov and Boris Ponomarev, disposing of virtually unlimited budgets and, after 1929, of the services of countless “front organizations.” These, the party’s hands and feet and its pride and joy, reached out to every imaginable category of persons: union members, lawyers, teachers, journalists, housewives, professional women, students, non-students. Each front organization had an ostensible purpose: peace, through opposition or support of any number of causes. But supporting the “Soviet line” was the proximate purpose of all. Through tens of thousands of “witting” Communists, these fronts marshaled millions of unwitting supporters, helping to reshape Western societies. Soviet political control of Europe was eminently possible, with or without an invasion, because the Soviet domestic apparatus had marshaled Soviet society, and because its international department and front organizations had convinced sectors of European societies to welcome the prospect.

The tools that today’s Russia wields vis-à-vis Europe are limited to commerce in natural gas, and to the opportunities for bribery that this creates—witness Russian Gazprom’s employment of former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder. Not only do European governments not fear being invaded by Russia, they refuse to diversify their sources of natural gas, and generally oppose American sanctions imposed on Russia because of its actions in Ukraine. The notion among European ruling parties that the voters who are in the process of rejecting them for various “populist” and nationalist options, are pining for Russian-style governance or tricked by Russian wiles is a baseless attempt to sidestep the ruling parties’ own failures.

The Lefty globalists think that? There’s a surprise! Whatever makes them think so? We see the populist movements as being unequivocally towards conservative nationalism, self-determination, personal liberty, not … neo-tsarism.

Europe’s rulers know that Russian military forces are not built to conquer the continent, because these forces lack the wherewithal for large-scale projection of power. Instead, they possess formidable capacity for what soldiers call “area denial”. This fits Russian leaders’ strategic goals, the people’s sentiments, and material constraints. The wars that today’s Russian military are built to fight are in areas that today’s Russian military sees most threatened by the U.S. and NATO, on its borders with Poland and Lithuania (where Russia crushed the Wehrmacht in 1944-45), and in Ukraine, north of Crimea. Russia’s military posture has ever been, and gives every sign of remaining, strategically defensive but operationally offensive. Now as before, when war seems imminent Russia’s operational doctrine calls for taking the initiative in a preemptive manner.

Although Russian strategy would be to surround and seal off foreign troops by air and ground, for the first time in Russia’s history, military manpower is scarce and precious. Economizing manpower is one reason why the country has fully integrated nuclear weapons in ordinary military operations, recalling nothing so much as President Dwight Eisenhower’s doctrine in the 1950s of “more bang for the buck”. To seal off the airspace, and to provide an umbrella for their ground forces, the Russians would use the S-400 air-missile defense system—the world’s best, which is now deployed around some 300 high-value locations. Strikes (or the threat thereof) by the unique Iskander short-range missile would preclude the foreign forces’ escape, as Russian troops moved in with Armata tanks, which carry the world’s best reactive armor.

Possession of perhaps the world’s best offensive and defensive strategic forces—comparable to America’s and far superior to China’s—is why Russia is confident that it can contain within limited areas the wars that it needs to fight. Because Russia has nothing to gain by military action against America or China, this arsenal is militarily useful only as insurance against anyone’s escalation of border disputes, and as the basis for Russia’s claim to be a major world player.

Priorities and Collusion

Russia loomed small in U.S. foreign policy from the time of the founding until the 1917 Bolshevik coup, because the interactions between America’s and Russia’s geopolitical and economic interests were few and mostly compatible. Given that these fundamentals have not changed, it would be best for both countries if their policies gradually returned to that long normal.

But for both countries, transcending the past century’s habits is not easy. The essential problem is that neither side’s desires, nor its calculus of ends and means, is clear to the other, or perhaps to itself. It seems that the main thing Putin or any other Russian leader might want from America is no interference as Russia tries to recreate the tsars’ empire. Thus Russia’s continuing relations with anti-U.S. regimes in Latin America can only be understood as Cold War inertia—the almost instinctive sense that what is bad for America must somehow be good for Russia. The U.S. government, for its part, while largely neglecting Russia’s involvement in the Western hemisphere, tries to limit its influence in Europe while at the same time reaching agreements concerning strategic weapons—a largely Cold War agenda. The soundness of these priorities on both sides is doubtful.

Both Russia and the U.S. fear China, and with good reason. The crushing size of contemporary China’s population and economy frightens the Russians. The fact that some Russian women marry Chinese men (disdaining Russian ones) embarrasses them and has made them more racially prejudiced than ever against the Chinese. Yet Russia aligns with China internationally and sells it advanced weapons, paid for with American money—money that China earns by trading its people’s cheap labor for America’s expensive technology. With these weapons as well as its own, China has established de facto sovereignty over the South China Sea and is pushing America out of the western Pacific. Nonetheless, the U.S. treats Russia as a major threat, including “to our democracy”. For Russia and America to work against one another to their common principal adversary’s advantage makes no geopolitical sense. But internal dynamics drive countries more than geopolitics.

Nowhere is this clearer than with the notion that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election—a charge which has roiled American public life for the past two years and counting. Interference in American life? That is what the Soviet Union was all about. By contrast, current concerns about Russia are a tempest, albeit a violent one, in a domestic American teapot.

In America, the Soviets worked less through the Communist Party than they did in Europe. Here [in America], they simply seduced and influenced people at the top of our society. Even in America prominent persons in the Democratic Party, academia, media, and intelligence services (or who would become prominent, e.g., future Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and CIA Director John Brennan), were Communists more or less openly. Far more important to the Soviets were persons convinced that Soviet and American interests were identical. Harry Hopkins, for example, who ran the U.S. government on President Franklin Roosevelt’s behalf, considered Stalin’s objectives to be so indistinguishable from America’s that the KGB considered him to be effectively Stalin’s agent. By contrast, Alger Hiss, an important State Department official, was one of many controlled Soviet agents within the U.S. government. But the compatibility between Hiss’s views and those of many in the U.S. ruling class was striking. For example, even after Soviet archives confirmed Hiss’s status as a Soviet agent, Robert McNamara, secretary of defense under Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, like many of his class, angrily insisted on Hiss’s innocence.

The comradeship of American liberals and Soviet Communists lasted to the Soviet Union’s end. In May 1983, for example, in an incident widely reported at the time and confirmed by Soviet archives, former U.S. senator John Tunney visited Moscow and, on behalf of his friend and classmate—and prospective Democratic presidential candidate—Senator Edward Kennedy, proposed to KGB director Viktor Chebrikov that Kennedy work with Soviet dictator Yuri Andropov to “arm Soviet officials with explanations regarding problems of nuclear disarmament so they may be better prepared and more convincing during appearances in the USA” because “the only real potential threats to Reagan [in the 1984 election] are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations”. Kennedy promised “to have representatives of the largest television companies in the USA contact Y.V. Andropov for an invitation to Moscow for the interviews”. Collusion, anyone? Today, with the Soviet Union gone, its moral-intellectual imprint on our ruling class remains.

The contemporary notion of Russian interference, however, owes nothing to Russia. It began when, in June 2016, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) tried to explain how a trove of e-mails showing its partiality for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders got into the public domain, alleging that they had been hacked from its server by Russian agents. To this day, there is zero evidence for this, the DNC not having allowed access to that server by any law enforcement agency or independent party.

Throughout the rest of the 2016 campaign, this narrative merged with one from CIA Director John Brennan and other leaders of U.S. intelligence, who were circulating a scurrilous dossier, paid for by the Clinton campaign, that alleged Trump’s connections with Russia. The Obama Administration used the dossier as the basis for electronic and human surveillance of the Trump campaign. Together, these narratives prompted a two-year investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which found no basis for the dossier, or for a relationship between Russia and the Trump campaign. Nevertheless, the assertion of Trump’s indebtedness to Russia became the pretext for #TheResistance to the 2016 election’s result, led by the Democratic Party, most of the judiciary, the bureaucracy, and the media.

In Europe as well as in America, the establishment’s protagonists have pointed to Russia to allege that their rejection by the voters is somehow “undemocratic”. Larry Diamond in the Wall Street Journal, following Robert Kagan in the Washington Post, wrote that “in one country after another, elected leaders have gradually attacked the deep tissues of democracy—the independence [from sovereign voters] of the courts, the business community, the media, civil society, universities and sensitive state institutions like the civil service, the intelligence agencies and the police.” Voting against the establishnment, you see, is undemocratic!

What Are Our Interests?

Making impossible a rational public discussion of U.S. policy toward Russia is the very least of the damage this partisan war has wrought. American liberals believed the Soviet Union’s dissolution was impossible; conservatives flattered themselves that they caused it. Few paid attention to what happened and how. Once the Soviet Union was gone, the West in general and Americans in particular presumed to teach Russians how to live, while helping their oligarchs loot the country. Russians soon got the impression that they were being disrespected. At least as Soviets, they had been feared. The Clinton Administration was confident that Russia would become a liberal partner in the rules-based international order. At the same time Clinton tried to load onto Russia the hopes that the U.S. establishment had long entertained about global co-dominion with the Soviets. In the same moment they pushed NATO to Russia’s borders—a mess of appeasement, provocation, and insult. Long-suffering Russians, who had idolized the West during the Soviet era, came to dislike us.

As the George W. Bush Administration fumbled at the new reality, it tried to appease Russia by continuing to limit U.S. missile defenses in fact, while publicly disavowing the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty; it formally objected to Russia’s dismemberment of Georgia, while effectively condoning it. The incoming Barack Obama Administration tried to go further along the same self-contradictory line by withdrawing anti-missile support from eastern Europe, and quietly promising even more restraint. But when, in 2014, Putin seized Crimea, Obama imposed serious economic sanctions and agreed to place NATO and American troops in Poland and the Baltic States. Then, for the most tactical of domestic political considerations, the Obama Administration, and hence the U.S. establishment, decided to try explaining the course and results of the 2016 U.S. election campaign as “Russia’s attack on our democracy”.

What are the American people’s interests in Eurasia, and how big are these interests? Although today’s Russia poses none of the ideological threats that the Soviet Union did—and despite the absence of geopolitical or any other clashing interests—Russia is clearly a major adversary in Europe and the Middle East. Its technical contributions to China’s military, and its general geopolitical alignment with China, are most worrisome. What, other than Soviet inertia and wounded pride, motivates the Russians? The U.S. maintains economic sanctions on Russia. To achieve precisely what? From both sides’ perspective, it is difficult to see what good can come from this continued enmity.

Today’s triangular U.S.-Russia-China calculus is not comparable to the Soviet-Chinese military confrontation of the 1970s and ’80s, when both the U.S. and China feared Soviet missiles, and the U.S. best served its own interests by implicitly extending its nuclear umbrella over China. Today, the problems between Russia and China stem from basic disparities that U.S. policy obscures by treating Russia as, if anything, more of a threat than China. The best that the U.S. can do for itself is to say nothing, and do nothing, that obscures these disparities. Without backhanded U.S. support for close Russo-Chinese relations, the two countries would quickly become each other’s principal enemies.

Ongoing U.S. anxiety about negotiations with Russia over weaponry is nothing but a legacy of the Cold War and a refusal to pay attention to a century of experience, teaching that arms control agreements limit only those who wish to limit themselves. Russia violated the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by developing the Iskander missile; the U.S. was right to withdraw from the agreement, but mistaken in ever expecting another country not to arm itself as it thinks best. In that regard, Americans should not listen to, never mind accommodate in any way, Russia’s (or any other country’s) objections to U.S. missile defenses. These are in our clear and overriding interest. Defending America as best we can—against missiles that might come to us from anywhere, for any reason—is supremely our business.

What then are America’s legitimate, realizable demands on Russia?

Putin’s Russia, by its 2015-18 intervention in Syria and its management of Turkey, achieved the tsars’ historic desire for a warm water port. Although the former conquest is firm, keeping Turkey friendly to Russia must ever be troublesome. Absent a friendly Turkey, Russia’s renewed control of Crimea and even the Syrian bases will be of very limited worth for any but defensive purposes. Whatever else might be said of its role in the Middle East, Russia has brought more stable balance to local forces than ever in this young century. Only with difficulty will American statesmen regret that our old adversary now deals with some of the problems that bedeviled us for a half-century.

The U.S. would be more secure geopolitically were Russia merely one of several European powers. But it has always been an empire, whose size has varied with time. An independent Ukraine has always been the greatest practical limitation on Russia’s imperial ambitions. That is very much a U.S. interest, but is beyond our capacity to secure.

U.S. relations with Russia regarding Ukraine are analogous to U.S. relations with Europe 200 years ago. Our overriding interest then was to prevent the Europeans from holding any major part of the Western hemisphere. By stating America’s intention to guard its hemispheric interests while forswearing meddling in European affairs, the U.S. encouraged them to face that reality. Today’s Russia realizes it cannot control Ukraine except for its Russian part, nor the Baltics, never mind the Visegrád states. The U.S. could lead Russia to be comfortable with that reality by reassuring it that we will not use our normal relations with Ukraine or with any of Russia’s neighbors to try to define Russia’s limits in Europe. We should realize that our setting such limits is beyond America’s capacity, and that it undercuts the basis for fruitful relations.

The U.S. prefers the Baltic States, and especially Ukraine, to be independent. But we know, and should sincerely convey to Russia, that their independence depends on themselves, and that we regard it as counterproductive to make them into American pawns or even to give the impression that they could be. Ukraine’s independence—and hence Russia’s acceptance of it as inevitable—depends on Ukraine retrenching into its Western identity, rejecting the borders that Stalin and Khrushchev had fixed for it, and standing firmly on its own feet—as, for example, by asserting its Orthodox church’s independence from Russia’s.

Wise U.S. policy would remove sanctions that previous administrations placed on Russia on behalf of Ukraine. Fruitless strife has been these sanctions’ only result. For example, they emboldened Ukraine to suppose it had U.S. support for presuming it had the same right to navigation in the Sea of Azov, passing under a Russian bridge, as it does in the Atlantic Ocean.

But in accord with the Monroe Doctrine, we should be willing to wage economic war on Russia—outright and destructive—on America’s own behalf, were the Russians to continue supporting anti-U.S. regimes in the Western hemisphere. If you want economic peace with America, we would say, stop interfering in our backyard. We Americans, for our part, are perfectly willing to stop interfering in your backyard.

In sum, nothing should be geopolitically clearer than that the natural policy for both America and Russia is not to go looking for opportunities to get in each other’s way.

Never forget the failure 4

We rightly celebrate heroism today on the anniversary of the tragedy of 9/11/2001 at the same time as we mourn.

It was a day of pride as well as grief. But it was also a day of failure and shame.

Whose failure? Whose shame?

Brandon J. Weichart writes at American Greatness:

The September 11, 2001 attacks were the result of an unmitigated intelligence failure. No, 9/11 was not an “inside job”, as many conspiracy theorists believe. Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network were responsible. But, the 9/11 plot did not happen in a vacuum.

In reality, America’s elephantine national security state had known of bin Laden and his network years before the horrific events of 9/11. Some of the most powerful people in the national security state routinely downplayed and ignored the threat al-Qaeda posed to the United States before 19 hijackers murdered 2,911 people in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania.

More troubling, though, is the fact that many of the same people who downplayed or ignored the threat of 9/11 and al-Qaeda were also intimately involved in nearly every foreign policy disaster of the last 18 years—from the Iraq War blunder to the inexcusable plot to frame President Donald Trump as a Russian agent.

The enduring failures of the national security state—from its inability to anticipate 9/11 in spite of clear warning signs, to advocating boneheaded Mideast policies—can be plotted in the career paths of individual members of the so-called deep state.

Consider John Brennan. Here is a man who was a self-described Communist when he joined the CIA in the Reagan Administration, at the height of Cold War against the Soviet Union. A supposed expert in U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East, as well as a fluent Arabic speaker, Brennan eventually rose to the rank of CIA station chief in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (where he may or may not have converted to Islam).

While there, Brennan apparently developed a powerful case of “clientitis” (a term for when U.S. foreign policy experts become so involved in their regions of focus that they start substituting for U.S. national interests those of the countries they are observing).

Brennan routinely ignored calls from his colleagues to pressure his Saudi counterparts to hand over more information on bin Laden and the rising al-Qaeda terrorist network in the 1990s (al-Qaeda was, first and foremost, a political and religious movement consisting of and controlled mostly by Saudi nationals).

Things got so bad with Brennan that when the Clinton Administration considered using force either to kill or capture bin Laden in the 1990s, Brennan led the effort to stop it. Had Clinton followed through with his earlier promises of bringing bin Laden to justice, instead of listening to compromised bureaucrats like Brennan, 9/11 might have been avoided. Of course, it did not help that Clinton’s own CIA director, George Tenet, backed Brennan’s opposition to the proposed bin Laden raid.

When George W. Bush took office, inexplicably he chose to keep Tenet on as the director of central intelligence. Tenet, in turn, kept incompetents like Brennan in place (while either marginalizing or forcing out those few intelligence officials who actually took the al-Qaeda threat seriously, such as Richard Clarke and Michael Scheurer, the original head of the CIA’s bin Laden unit).

Sadly, Brennan would go on to enjoy a long career, even after 9/11. This is as much a failure of the permanent bureaucracy (which is supposedly a meritocracy) as it is of the political establishment for leaving people like Brennan atop the sprawling intelligence community and not demanding answers for how such “wise men” could have missed 9/11. In a bygone era, after enduring a catastrophic professional disaster, men like John Brennan would have been forced to resign.

Instead, Brennan got a promotion. Barack Obama elevated him to CIA director in his second term. Brennan’s short-sightedness and incompetence eventually calcified into outright hostility for the very democratic ideals that he was purportedly defending. For instance, when the American people began questioning the authority that our opaque intelligence services had assumed in the dark days following the 9/11 attacks, Brennan used the potent power of the CIA to spy on members of the Senate Intelligence Committee who were charged with investigating reports that detainees in CIA custody may have been subjected to abuse.

Then, as the coup de grace to his otherwise disturbing career, Brennan oversaw one of the greatest abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). He, along with several other fellow travelers in the national security state, concocted a counterintelligence investigation into Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election.

The investigation was based on innuendo and lies that Brennan knowingly (and wantonly) perpetuated, which claimed that Trump and key members of his presidential campaign were aided and abetted by the Kremlin to swing the 2016 presidential election in his favor. Other Obama national security officials, including former Undersecretary of Defense Evelyn Farkas, proudly proclaimed in 2017 that this cabal had “buried” the details of the investigation deep in the federal bureaucracy, so as to prevent Trump from using the power of his office to end the investigation.

Where was this zeal in the 1990s, when it came to an actual threat like al-Qaeda?

The trajectory of Brennan’s career is a perfect snapshot for the growth—and compounding failures—of the U.S. national security state since 9/11. Many of the same people who refused to accept that al-Qaeda was a threat, or who advanced equally disastrous policies in the Middle East, are the same individuals who launched a frightening covert, rolling, administrative coup against a duly elected president. Not only is our deep state painfully incompetent but it is also clearly corrupt.

How might the last 18 years have turned out if ignoramuses like Brennan, who downplayed al-Qaeda’s threat to the United States in the 1990s, and who had refused to pressure our Saudi “allies” into being more forthcoming with information about Osama bin Laden, had been fired for failing to anticipate 9/11? Instead of being fired, though, these bumbling bureaucrats were given more power and money to run roughshod over our democracy in the name of protecting us. They had no clue how to protect us before 9/11—and they were certainly clueless about how to protect us after that terrible day.

When Americans say, “We will never forget 9/11,” they should add: “Or how U.S. intelligence failed us!”

Will the guilty men and women ever be made to pay a price for their betrayal?

At the very least, may their names live in ignominy.

Calumnies, collusion, conspiracy, and crimes 1

Victor David Hanson, writing at American Greatness, provides this summary of the lies that Hillary Clinton and a cabal of dishonest Obama-appointees told, and the crimes they committed, in a conspiracy to get the duly elected president, Donald Trump, falsely convicted of treason.

The irony of the entire Russian collusion hoax is that accusers who cried the loudest about leaking, collusion, lying, and obstruction are themselves soon very likely to be accused of just those crimes.

Now that Robert Mueller’s 674-day, $30 million investigation is over and has failed to find the original goal of its mandate — evidence of a criminal conspiracy between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government to sway the 2016 election — and now that thousands of once-sealed government documents will likely be released in unredacted form, those who eagerly assumed the role of the hunters may become the hunted, due to their own zealous violation of the nation’s trust and its laws.

Take Lying

Former FBI Director James Comey’s testimonies cannot be reconciled with those of his own deputy director Andrew McCabe. He falsely testified that the Steele dossier was not the main basis for obtaining FISA court warrants. On at least 245 occasions, Comey swore under oath that he either did not know, or could not remember, when asked direct questions about his conduct at the FBI. He likely lied when he testified that he did not conclude his assessment of the Clinton illegal email use before he had even interviewed Clinton, an assertion contradicted by his own written report. I guess his credo and modus operandi are reflected in the subtitle of his recent autobiography A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.

Andrew McCabe currently is under criminal referral for lying to federal investigators about leaking to the media. He and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein each have accused each other of not telling the whole truth about their shared caper of trying to force President Trump out of office by invoking the 25th Amendment.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has admitted to lying under oath to Congress — and since lied about his earlier admission of that lying. His recent sworn congressional testimony of not having leaked information about the Steele dossier to the media is again likely to be untrue, given that Clapper had admitted to speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper about the dossier’s contents. CNN, remember, would in turn go on to hire the mendacious Clapper as an analyst. And once on air, Clapper would insist that Trump was both a Russian asset and thus guilty of collusion crimes greater than those of Watergate. Lies. All lies.

Former CIA Director John Brennan has admitted to lying under oath to Congress on two occasions. He may well face further legal exposure. When he lost his security clearance, he repeatedly lied that Trump was guilty of collusion, however that non-crime is defined. And as the Mueller probe wound down, Brennan with pseudo-authority and trumped-up hints of phony access to secret intelligence sources deceitfully assured the nation that Trump within days would face indictment — perhaps along with his family members.

Brennan in 2016 also reached out to foreign intelligence services, primary British and Australian, to surveille and entrap Trump aides, as a way of circumventing rules preventing CIA monitoring of American citizens. And he may well have also reverse-targeted Americans, under the guise of monitoring foreign nationals, in order to build a case of so-called Trump collusion.

Finally, Brennan testified to Congress in May 2017 that he had not been earlier aware of the dossier or its contents before the election, although in August 2016 it is almost certain that he had briefed Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on it in a spirited effort to have Reid pressure the FBI to keep or expand its counterintelligence investigation of Trump during the critical final weeks of the election.

Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin likely also lied to FBI investigators when they claimed they had no knowledge while working at the State Department that their boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was using an illegal private email server. In fact, they had read her communications on it and actually inquired about its efficacy.

Samantha Power, the former U.N. ambassador, in her last year in office requested on more than 260 occasions to unmask names of Americans monitored by the government. Yet Power later claimed that most of these requests were not made by her. And yet she either does not know or does not cite who exactly used her name to make such requests during the election cycle. In any case, no one has come forward to admit to the improper use of Power’s name to request the hundreds of unmaskings.

Susan Rice, the former Obama national security advisor, could have made a number of unmasking requests in Power’s name, although she initially denied making any requests in her own name—a lie she immediately amended. Rice, remember, repeatedly lied on national television about the cause and origins of the Benghazi attack, denied there were cash payments for hostages in the Iran deal, misled about the conduct of Beau Bergdahl, and prevaricated over the existence and destruction of weapons of mass destruction in Syria.

Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr did not tell the truth on a federal written disclosure required by law when he omitted the key fact that his wife Nellie worked on Christopher Steele’s Fusion GPS dossier. Ohr’s testimony that he completely briefed key FBI officials on the dossier in July or August 2016 is not compatible to what former FBI attorney Lisa Page has testified to concerning the dates of her own knowledge of the Steele material.

Take Foreign Collusion

Christopher Steele is a foreign national. So are many of the Russian sources that he claims he had contacted to solicit dirt on Donald Trump and his campaign aides. In fact, John Brennan’s CIA, soon in consultation with the FBI, was used in circuitous fashion to facilitate surveillance of Donald Trump’s campaign through the use of foreign nationals during the 2016 campaign.

Foreigners such as Maltese professor Josef Mifsud, and former Australian minister for foreign affairs Alexander Downer and an array of intelligence contractors from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) mysteriously met with minor Trump aide George Papadopoulos and others. It is likely that to disguise American intelligence agencies’ efforts to besmirch, surveille, and leak to the press damaging unfounded rumors about the Trump campaign that John Brennan enlisted an entire cadre of foreign nationals. And it is likely to be the most egregious example of using non-U.S. citizens to affect the outcome of an election in our history.

If there is a crime of foreign collusion — a conspiracy of U.S. officials to use foreigners to interfere with an American election — then Brennan’s efforts are the textbook example.

Take Leaking

Many of the names unmasked by requests from Samantha Power and Susan Rice were leaked illegally to the media. James Comey himself leaked confidential memos of presidential conversations to the press; in at least one case, the memo was likely classified.

Former FBI general counsel James Baker is currently under criminal referral for improperly leaking classified documents. He seems to have been in contact with the media before the election and he may have been one of many FBI officials and contacts, along with Christopher Steele, that reporters such as David Corn, Michael Isikoff, and Julia Ioffe anonymously referenced in their pre-election published hit pieces on Russian collusion — all the result of the successful strategies of Fusion GPS, along with some in the FBI, to seed unverified anti-Trump gossip to warp the election.

Andrew McCabe also is under criminal referral both for leaking classified information and then lying about it.

In a fashion emblematic of this entire sordid mess, the always ethically compromised James Clapper in January 2017 had leaked the dossier to Jake Tapper of CNN and likely other journalists and then shortly afterwards publicly deplored just this sort of government leaking that had led to sensational stories about the dossier.

Take Obstruction of Justice

A number of FBI and Department of Justice high ranking employees such as James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Rod Rosenstein, and Sally Yates all signed off on FISA warrants to surveille Carter Page without apprising the courts that they knew that their chief evidence, the Steele Dossier, was unverified, was paid for by Hillary Clinton, and was used in circular fashion as the basis for news accounts presented to the court. Nor did the Justice Department and FBI officials apprise the FISA justices that Christopher Steele had been terminated as a FBI source.

No one believes that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch just happened to meet Bill Clinton on a Phoenix airport tarmac and confined their conservations to a variety of topics having nothing to do with Hillary Clinton — at a time when Lynch’s Justice Department was investigating her. Note the meeting was only disclosed because a reporter got a tip and arrived on the scene of the two adjoining Lynch and Clinton private jets — which suggests that the only thing Lynch and Clinton regretted was being found out. Few believe that Lynch had recused herself as she promised, given her strict oversight of the sort of language Comey’s FBI was allowed to use in its investigation of Clinton.

Take Conflict of Interest

Andrew McCabe never should have been in charge of the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton, given that just months earlier his wife had been the recipient of $675,000 in campaign cash donated by Clinton and Democratic Party-affiliated political action committees. And the apology of a “time line” that suggests conflicts of interest like McCabe’s expired after an arbitrary date is specious. McCabe knew his spouse had been a recent recipient of Clinton-related money, knew that he had substantial influence on the fate of her [Hillary Clinton’s] email investigation, and hoped and assumed that she was likely to be the next president of the United States quite soon.

Rod Rosenstein never should have been appointed acting attorney general in charge of oversight of the Mueller investigation. He knew Mueller well. In circular fashion, he had drafted the rationale to fire Comey that had prompted the Mueller’s appointment. He had signed off on a FISA warrant request without apprising the court of the true nature of the Steele dossier’s origins and nature. He had met shortly before the Mueller appointment with acting FBI director Andrew McCabe to investigate the chance of removing Trump under a distortion of the 25th Amendment. So, in essence, Rosenstein had been one of the catalysts for McCabe to investigate removing Trump for his own part in the removal of Comey and then in Orwellian fashion joined McCabe’s efforts.

Comey deliberately leaked a classified memo of a presidential conversation, in which he had misled the president about his actual status under FBI investigations, in order to cause enough media outrage over his firing to prompt the hiring of a special counsel. That gambit succeeded in the appointment of his own longtime associate Robert Mueller, who would be charged to investigate “collusion”, in which Comey played an important role in monitoring the Trump campaign with the assistance of British national Christopher Steele.

Robert Mueller did not need to appoint a legal team inordinately Democratic, which included attorneys who had been either donors to the Clinton campaign, or had been attorneys for Clinton aides, or had defended the Clinton Foundation. And he certainly should not have included on his investigative team that was charged with adjudicating Russian collusion in the 2016 election both Zainab Ahmad and Andrew Weissman, Obama Justice Department officials, who had been briefed by Bruce Ohr before the election on the nature of the Steele dossier and its use of foreign sources.

It will be difficult to unravel all of the above lying, distortion, and unethical and illegal conduct.

The motives of these bad actors are diverse, but they share a common denominator. As Washington politicos and administrative state careerists, all of them believed that Donald Trump was so abhorrent that he should be prevented from winning the 2016 election. After his stunning and shocking victory, they assumed further that either he should not be inaugurated or he should be removed from office as soon as they could arrange it.

They further reasoned that as high and esteemed unelected officials their efforts were above and beyond the law, and rightly so, given their assumed superior wisdom and morality.

Finally, if their initial efforts were predicated on winning not just exemption from the law, but even promotions and kudos from a grateful President Hillary Clinton, their subsequent energies at removing Trump and investing in the collusion hoax were preemptive and defensive. Seeding the collusion hoax was a way either of removing Trump who had the presidential power to call them all to account for their illegality, or at least causing so much media chaos and political havoc that their own crimes and misdemeanors would be forgotten by becoming submerged amid years of scandal, conspiracies, and media sensationalism.

And they were almost — but so far not quite — correct in all their assumptions.

They are people so low as to be truly beneath contempt. Their rightful place, as far from leadership positions in government and law-enforcement as any could be, is prison.

His mother’s son and her good friend 20

“I wouldn’t be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I have been accused of,” Jussie Smollett declared in a tone of righteous indignation after being acquitted of his malicious crimes by a corrupt court.

Who is his mother? What does it mean when he invokes her to advertise his own virtue?

She is Janet Smollett née Harris. She was a member of the Black Panthers. Angela Davis was a fellow member of the terrorist group, and they are still close friends.

A reminder of who Angela Davis is, from Discover the Networks, will reveal the ideas which these comrades embraced and the causes they served:

Angela Yvonne Davis is a tenured professor in the “History of Consciousness” program at the University of California – Santa Cruz. A former member of the Black Panther Party, she is currently a “university professor”, which entitles her to a six-figure salary and a research assistant. This income is supplemented by speaking fees ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 per appearance on college campuses, where she is an icon of radical faculty, administrators, and students. Davis has also taught at UCLA and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Born into a middle-class family in Birmingham, Alabama on January 26, 1944, Davis attended segregated schools in that city until she enrolled at New York’s Little Red Schoolhouse (LRS), famous for its Communist faculty and student body. (Future Weather Underground terrorist Kathy Boudin attended that school during the same period as Davis).

After having been exposed to the Marxist classics at LRS, Davis moved on to a full scholarship at Elisabeth Irwin High School in New York, an adjunct of LRS. While attending these schools, she was a house guest of Herbert Aptheker, the Communist Party’s chief theoretician, and his family.

In 1961 Davis enrolled at Brandeis University, where she majored in French. She spent her junior year studying in Paris, where she came into contact with Algerian revolutionaries. Davis graduated from Brandeis in 1965 and then spent two years on the faculty of Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. She returned to the U.S. to take another teaching position at UCLA, where she worked with radical professor Herbert Marcuse.

Herbert Marcuse was one of the chief philosophers of the New Left, the 1968 student protest movements in Western countries, and the terrorist groups that emerged from them.

In 1968, as Soviet tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia to crush the “Prague spring”, Davis joined the Communist Party, voicing her belief that “the only path of liberation for black people is that which leads toward complete and radical overthrow of the capitalist class”. 

Davis supported the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia, just as she would support its invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.

In September 1969 Davis was fired from UCLA when her membership in the Communist Party became known. This resulted in a celebrated First Amendment battle that made Davis a national figure and forced UCLA to rehire her.

In 1970 Davis was implicated by more than 20 witnesses in a plot to free her imprisoned lover, fellow Black Panther George Jackson, by hijacking a Marin County, California courtroom and taking hostage the judge, the prosecuting assistant district attorney, and two jurors. In an ensuing gun battle outside the court building, Judge Harold Haley’s head was blown off by a sawed-off shotgun owned by Ms. Davis.

The way that’s worded implies there is no proof of who it was who pulled the trigger that killed the Judge. It is known that Angela Davis supplied the gun. In whose hands was it when it was used to kill? It doesn’t strain credulity to imagine it was hers. But …

To avoid arrest for her alleged complicity in the plot, Ms. Davis fled California, using aliases and changing her appearance to avoid detection.

Two months later, Davis was arrested by the FBI in New York City. At her 1972 trial, Davis presented her version of where she had been and what she had been doing at the time of the shootout. Because she was acting as her own attorney, she could not be cross-examined. She presented a number of alibi witnesses, almost all Communist friends, who testified that she had been with them in Los Angeles playing Scrabble at the time of the Marin slaughter. Prosecution witnesses who placed her in Marin were dismissed by Davis and her fellow attorneys as being unable to accurately identify blacks — because they were white.

Following the announcement of the verdict that acquitted Davis, one juror faced news cameras and gave a revolutionary’s clenched-fist salute. He laughed at the justice system, saying that prosecutors had been mistaken to expect that the “middle-class jury” would convict Davis. He and most of the jurors then went off to partake in a Davis victory party.

In 1979 Davis was awarded the International Lenin Peace Prize (formerly named the International Stalin Peace Prize) by the East German police state. This honor was given by a Soviet government-appointed panel that sought to recognize individuals who had “strengthened peace among peoples” by advancing the agendas of the Kremlin and its totalitarian regime.

Wherever the Soviets used the word “peace”, always read “Communism”.

Davis ran for Vice President of the United States in 1980 and 1984, alongside Gus Hall, on the Communist Party ticket.

Gus Hall was the candidate John Brennan voted for. The John Brennan, that is, who was appointed head of the CIA by Barack Obama.

What lessons are to be drawn from the story of the murdering Black Panthers, from the manner in which its members conducted themselves, actively assisting the enemy of their country during the Cold War between the United States and the tyrannous dictatorship of Communist Russia? Are rising generations likely to look to them as models of probity, loyalty, patriotism, veracity, decency, humanity?

The right and chilling answer to that question is, in full, no, but as political heroes, all too probably yes.

How much is that socialism in the window? 8

To a conservative who lived in a Western country through the decades of the Cold War, the current fashion for Socialism in America is likely to be shocking and terrifying. To those who lived under the iron heel of Soviet Socialism in Eastern Europe, or any other Marxist regime, it must be many times worse.

(Throughout this article, “Socialism” and “Communism” are used interchangeably – as was customary in the USSR.)

Some dangerously under-informed American women entering the political arena seem really to think that it is a pretty thing, Socialism.

Here’s one of them – Democrat Cynthia Nixon, who fortunately lost her challenge to the Democrat Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo by a difference of 30% of the votes – smilingly, in all the self-deceiving self-confidence of ignorance, urging Socialism on New York voters:

 

And here’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who won the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th congressional district – demonstrating how innocent she is of Economics:

Another fan of Socialism, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, wants to be the Democratic nominee for the presidency in 2020.

Lloyd Billingsley writes at Front Page on Cory Booker’s claim to be Spartacus: a hero of resistance to ancient Roman tyranny re-canonized by Communists in the 1950s. Booker founded his claim on the extreme daring he showed in rising against the Left-alleged tyranny of President Trump – by making public certain documents, in relation to the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, that were in fact already public.

As Billingsley says, “Booker’s gambit was something of a bust.”

He goes on to tell us how one Communist, the author of the novel Sparticus, lost his faith.

The movie Booker cited is based on the 1951 novel Spartacus by Howard Fast, a Communist pisseur d’encre whom Time magazine had dubbed “Big Brother’s U.S. pen pal.” In 1953, Fast won the Stalin Peace Prize, the only American to win the award other than Paul Robeson, a black American Communist who spent his life defending all-white Soviet dictatorships.

Stalin died in 1953 and three years later, Soviet boss Nikita Khrushchev denounced Stalin’s crimes and mass atrocities to the Soviet Communist Party’s 20th Congress. The revelation devastated many American Communists and motivated Howard Fast to write The Naked God: The Writer and the Communist Party, released in 1957.

Khrushchev’s revelations, Fast wrote, “itemizes a record of barbarism and paranoiac bloodlust that will be a lasting and shameful memory to civilized man”.  Communism is not social science but “naked terror, awful brutality and frightening ignorance“.  Fast denounced “Stalin and the collection of hangmen and murderers around him” and charged that the Communist Party is “based on pseudo-religious cant, cemented with neurotic fear and parading ritualistic magic as a substitute for reason”.  And the Spartacus scribe wasn’t done.

The only people who resisted the revelation of Stalin’s crimes, Fast wrote, were “the mental revolutionaries, the parlor pinks, the living-room warriors, the mink coated allies of the working class”. These were “Sick people who had seen no death [other] than a painted corpse in a funeral parlor, no other violence than an auto crash – these people lusted for an Armageddon their mad dreams had promised them.” …

The Spartacus screenwriter was Dalton Trumbo, who joined the Communist Party during the Stalin-Hitler Pact, when many others left, and remained in the Party after the Khrushchev revelations. Trumbo hated Fast’s Naked God but he wasn’t going to pass up a big payday. And since Trumbo had been one of the famed Hollywood Ten, Spartacus remains a classic on the big screen of the left, which duly consigned The Naked God to the forbidden list.

While some fled the Communist Party after 1956 many others remained and the Soviets continued to run candidates in American elections. In 1976 their candidate for president was Gus Hall, an old-line Stalinist, with Jarvis Tyner for vice president. College student John Brennan voted for Gus Hall and incredibly enough, only four years later in 1980 Brennan gained employment at the CIA, which he headed under POTUS 44.

One of those Americans who remained faithful to Communism and the Soviet Union was Angela Davis. In 1979 Davis won the Lenin Peace Prize, her primary for the Communist ticket in 1980, with Davis for vice president under Hall. The same duo lost to Reagan and Bush in 1984, and thereafter the Communist Party USA declined to run candidates and urged their supporters to vote for the Democratic Party.

In 1988, American Bernie Sanders spent his honeymoon in the Soviet Union, where the gulags were still functioning and Soviet bosses torturing political prisoners in psychiatric hospitals. If Hillary Clinton had not rigged the primaries, Sanders would have been the Democrats’ candidate in 2016.

Cory Booker wants to be the candidate in 2020, and his bid for a  “Spartacus moment” suggests that he knows the Old Left back story. For their part, Democrats such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cynthia Nixon and Andrew Gillum [Florida’s Democratic Gubernatorial nominee. also advocating Socialism without perhaps fully realizing that he is], like their media supporters, show little if any familiarity with The Naked GodThe God That Failed, and The Road to Serfdom.

Right. They show no familiarity whatsoever with the theory or practice of the Socialism that charms them so. If Cory Booker knows, and yet desires to impose the horror that is Socialism on his fellow Americans, he is a lot worse than they are.  

On every hand they rise crying “I am socialist!” thereby confirming ignorance of the actual record. Howard Fast, who died in 2003, knew what socialism was all about. So did Milan Kundera, who wrote, “the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting”.

Candidates can’t recall what they never knew in the first place.

They need to be told, but their teachers have not told them, and will not tell them: Socialism is hungry, bleak, smelly, shabby, hopeless, poor, cold, painful and very frightening.

Under a lidless gaze from high dark towers 1

Is the American Left totalitarian in its ideology, policies, inclination?

Victor Davis Hanson thinks it is. He writes (in part) at National Review:

A definition of totalitarianism might be the saturation of every facet of daily life by political agendas and social-justice messaging.

At the present rate, America will soon resemble the dystopias of novels such as 1984 and Brave New World in which all aspects of life are warped by an all-encompassing ideology of coerced sameness.

Or rather, the prevailing orthodoxy in America is the omnipresent attempt of an elite — exempt from the consequences of its own ideology thanks to its supposed superior virtue and intelligence — to mandate an equality of result.

We expect their 24/7 political messaging on cable-channel news networks, talk radio, or print and online media. And we concede that long ago an NPR, CNN, MSNBC, or New York Times ceased being journalistic entities as much as obsequious megaphones of the progressive itinerary.

But increasingly we cannot escape anywhere the lidless gaze of our progressive lords, all-seeing, all-knowing from high up in their dark towers.

When there is a Republican president, a Republican Congress, a Republican majority in the Supreme Court, and a majority of the states (33 of the 50) have Republican governors, does the Left have the power to inflict its “political agendas and social-justice messaging” on America?

The answer is yes. The faithful do it from inside government agencies.

The Peter Strzok–Lisa Page texts, along with the careers of former FBI director James Comey and his deputy Andrew McCabe, reveal a politicized and in some sense rotten FBI hierarchy, beholden far more to its own exalted sense of a progressive self than merely to investigating crimes against the people.

Lois Lerner was a clumsy reflection of how the IRS long ago became weaponized in service to auditing deplorables. Former CIA director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper used their supposedly nonpartisan positions to further political agendas. That each in his own way is clownish does not mitigate their rank efforts to graft intelligence agencies onto political causes.

The same deterioration is true of many in the Department of Justice, who, along with the FBI, misled FISA-court justices, as if that were the only, or perhaps the easiest, way to obtain politically driven surveillance on U.S. citizens. Americans now are woke to the reality that straying too much into the forbidden zone guarantees that their communications can be monitored on the pretense that they’re colluding with some nefarious power. Yet if foreigners are the menace, why did our proverbial best and brightest traffic with a paid foreign spy at election time to sabotage a political campaign, then trump even the improper use of electronic surveillance with the insertion of paid informants?

They do it through the social media companies.

Google, Facebook, and Twitter are facing accusations of censoring social-media accounts and massaging Internet searches according to their progressive political agendas. The masters of the universe have given us the stereotype of 20- and 30-something social-warrior geeks, fiddling with their algorithms to virtue-signal their left-wing fides to a global audience. …

First-time congressional candidate Elizabeth Heng, a conservative from central California, found her video ad blocked on Facebook and Twitter. Apparently, her description of the Cambodian holocaust that her parents fled was too graphic or politically incorrect, or both. But then again, in California, everything is politicized, from plastic straws to single-user restrooms, in an Orwellian effort to distract us from the fact that we do not have enough water, usable roads, or workable public schools to remain a civilized state.

They do it through the news media and the institutions of education. They do it through”newspeak” – the control of vocabulary.

Language is especially enlisted to disguise bothersome reality. During the Obama administration, no one would ever have known from “overseas contingency operations,” “man-caused disaster”, “workplace disasters”, and “holy struggles” that radical Islamic terrorists were seeking to kill Westerners from San Bernardino to Paris. As in the case of illegal aliens, undocumented aliens, illegal immigrants, undocumented immigrants, immigrants migrants, the progressive rationale is that anyone killed or harmed by a terrorist or migrant is usually a nobody and so an acceptable casualty in the greater war against incorrect speech and attitude.

When our public colleges now find that an increasing number of newly admitted students cannot do college-level work when they begin their courses, administrators drop the old idea of catch-up “remedial” classes or compensatory “remediation” courses. The new language conveys that students are now suddenly qualified, or at least it virtue-signals the university’s effort to be suitably sensitive to the fact that in California nearly half of those entering the CSU system cannot read or compute at what previously had been thought to be a college level.

And since the Left is now dedicated to the destruction of “white privilege” and the demotion of the white race, Whites on the Left announce from their dark towers that they are not white:

Our very names and identities have become politicized. Desperate to highlight their progressive purity (or to enhance careers), politicians sometimes reinvent their nomenclatures and ancestries to suggest solidarity with those deemed racially, ethnically, or economically oppressed. … [Is] their intent to pose as poorer, more victimized Americans without actually having to become poorer or more victimized?

Senator Elizabeth Warren claimed falsely — albeit not quite in the clumsy fashion of left-wing political activist and professor Ward Churchill — that she was part Native American. Socialist New York state senate candidate Julia Salazar recently and falsely rebranded herself as a virtual foreign-born immigrant. Was their intent to pose as poorer, more victimized Americans without actually having to become poorer or more victimized?

White-male aspirant for a Texas Senate seat Patrick Francis O’Rourke has used the Latino nickname “Beto,” probably on the assumption that “Beto O’Rourke” might ensure a little more street cred among Texas’s Latino voters. I suppose “Pat O’Lopez” would be too shameless? But then again, California Senate candidate Kevin de León has added both a “de” and an accent to remind voters that he is not just an Anglicized Kevin Leon who could be mistaken for a third-generation Portuguese American.

Americans have long accepted that Hollywood movies no longer seek just to entertain or inform, but to indoctrinate audiences by pushing progressive agendas. That commandment also demands that America be portrayed negatively — or better yet simply written out of history. Take the new film First Man, about the first moon landing. Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong became famous when he emerged from The Eagle, the two-man lunar module, and planted an American flag on the moon’s surface. Yet that iconic act disappears from the movie version. (At least Ryan Gosling, who plays Armstrong, does not walk out of the space capsule to string up a U.N. banner.)

Gosling claimed that the moon landing should not be seen as an American effort. Instead, he advised, it should be “widely regarded as a human achievement” — as if any nation’s efforts or the work of the United Nations in 1969 could have pulled off such an astounding and dangerous enterprise.  …

Julia Salazar, whom Hanson refers to, is a “Democratic Socialist” running for a Democratic Party seat in the New York State Senate. She claimed for unexplained reasons to be a Jewish immigrant from Colombia, though she was born to a Catholic family in Miami and is intensely anti-Semitic. When the Jewish periodical The Tablet exposed her lies, “the response from Salazar and her supporters was to accuse the Jewish community of racism”. They – 

” … insisted that as a ‘woman of color’, she was a victim of Jewish racism. The Democratic Socialists of America backed their candidate and repeated her anti-Jewish slurs.”

– So writes Daniel Greenfield at Front Page. 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, another “Democratic Socialist”, is a rich man’s daughter who pretends to be a low-waged resident of the Bronx, where she has won the Democratic primary and  will be elected to Congress in November.

So our betters who claim the moral high ground and know what’s best for us, are liars, slanderers, poseurs, hypocrites, illiterates, and subversives. 

And they are would-be totalitarians, those up there in the dark towers.

Conspiracy, collusion, corruption condoned? 1

It is past time for the vindictive conspirators against the president of the United States to be brought to justice.

Evidence of their guilt continues to pile up, and still they are not prosecuted.

Are these conspirators and colluders exempt from the law? Are their crimes to be condoned?

Investor’ Business daily provides an outline of their scandalous plot, stressing the “stunning” revelation by one of the conspirators that President Obama was behind it:

As the saying goes, a fish rots from the head down. Well, so do bad governments. Recent revelations about the behavior of President Obama and his CIA director John Brennan in pushing the bogus Russian collusion investigation suggest that’s been the case. The release of the FISA application by the FBI to investigate alleged collusion between Russia and President Trump’s campaign and recent comments made by top officials are eye opening.

Not only did President Obama know about the investigation, he seems to have pushed it from the very beginning.

But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, the nation’s former spy master, James Clapper, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper:

If it weren’t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of event which are still unfolding today, including Special Counsel (Robert) Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place.

Why didn’t this get more attention in the media? Obama and [John] Brennan [Obama’s CIA chief] not only knew the dubious nature of the allegations against Trump, but pushed them anyway.

As Kimberley Strassel wrote in the Wall Street Journal, Brennan in particular has revealed himself to be a total anti-Trump partisan to an extent that’s shocking for a public official. His animus is raw and deep, as his actions suggest.  She wrote:

The record shows (Brennan) went on to use his position — as head of the most powerful spy agency in the world — to assist Hillary Clinton’s campaign (and keep his job).

Brennan’s manic partisanship could be seen last week in an over-the-top, bizarrely unhinged tweet following Trump’s press conference after his mini-summit with Vladimir Putin. Brennan called Trump’s remarks”nothing short of treasonous” and said they exceeded “the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors'”.

While Brennan’s hate for the GOP nominee may be public now, it wasn’t in the summer of 2016. His evidence for collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia was so weak neither the FBI nor Clapper would commit to it.

Knowing his role as CIA head forbade him from intervening in domestic spying and trying to take the investigation from a low simmer to a high boil, Brennan got the ball rolling in August of 2016 by telling thenformer Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a tale of Russians interfering in our election on Trump’s behalf.

It worked. Pushed on by Brennan, Reid, then the most powerful person in Congress, wrote a letter to FBI Director James Comey citing “evidence of a direct connection” between the Trump campaign and seeking an investigation.

Not only did Brennan share intelligence with the FBI, but soon after, the Democrat-linked opposition research firm Fusion GPS began leaking the “Trump Dossier” to the media. The fix was in.

As the [recent] release … of the FBI’s FISA court application used to spy on former Trump aide Carter Page indicates, the dossier was used extensively for the application. That’s contrary to what the FBI had maintained.

Moreover, an influential article written by Michael Isikoff detailing the dossier’s contents and Harry Reid’s letter to the FBI were likewise used to get approval for the FISA court application.

What do they all have in common? They all go back to the same phony dossier, written by former British spy Christopher Steele for Fusion GPS. It was never verified or validated by the FBI. It was bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton and her pals at the Democratic National Committee, solely to smear Trump.

… Hillary … was adept at insinuating her phony oppo research document into the public record and at using it to weaponize U.S. intelligence agencies on behalf of her failed campaign.

But then, we all knew this had happened. What’s stunning is the casual way Clapper let us know that President Obama “was responsible” for the whole shebang.

If that’s so, there are really only two possibilities:

One, that a gullible Obama was fed phony information from Brennan and the Hillary Clinton campaign. He then over-reacted by tasking the intelligence community to look into it.

Or, two, that Obama knew he was dealing with tainted information. Instead of halting a bogus investigation, he let Brennan carry it forward. Why? He thought it would help elect Hillary Clinton — and cement his own presidential legacy for posterity.

At a minimum, what seems obvious is that the deep state triad of Obama, Clinton and Brennan colluded. They did it to damage Trump’s campaign with allegations of Russian interference in the election. And they got the FBI and, later, a special prosecutor, to conduct a high-profile investigation.

Instead of investigating Trump, shouldn’t we investigate those who subverted our democracy for rank partisan purposes to influence a presidential election? That’s Obama, Brennan and Clinton.

Removing security clearances for those in the Obama administration who lied or were guilty of misconduct and political bias would be a minimum.

The crimes of the plotters “are bigger than Watergate”, the IBD editorial declares. Yes, they are hugely bigger.

When will the perpetrators answer for them in a court of law?

Is it conceivable that a Republican administration, its Department of Justice, and a Republican-majority House and Senate will let them go unpunished?

President Trump’s success at Helsinki 1

Can the meeting in Helsinki of the presidents of the US and Russia be reckoned a success for President Trump?

Joel B. Pollak thinks it can. He writes at Breitbart:

President Donald Trump scored a diplomatic win on Monday at his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.

The media, the Democrats, and the Never Trump contingent declared immediately that Trump had failed. But they were bitterly prejudiced against the meeting from the start, to the point where many insisted that Trump cancel it.

To them, looking at the summit through the lens of “collusion”, the summit could only be the ultimate payoff for Putin’s election meddling in 2016. But viewed through the lens of diplomacy, the summit was a milestone in US-Russia relations.

Judging from their remarks at the press conference that followed, the two leaders touched on every major important area of foreign policy: Syria, where the U.S. wants Russia to keep Iran at bay; North Korea, where the U.S. wants Russia to help it pressure the Kim regime to denuclearize; Iran, where the U.S. is attempting to re-organize international pressure; and Ukraine, where the U.S. wants Russia to de-escalate.

President Trump, as promised, challenged Putin on the subject of Russian interference in U.S. elections. It was Putin, not Trump, who pointed that out [at the press conference] — adding: “I had to reiterate things I said several times, including during our personal contacts, that the Russian state has never interfered and is not going to interfere into internal American affairs, including election process.”

A lie, of course. Putin is a liar and a murderer – a KGB crocodile with a deceptive smile. Still, the interference was trivial, no doubt routine, and accomplished nothing. And as Putin is the ruler of Russia, President Trump is right to try to establish person-to-crocodile relations with him.

Putin also volunteered the information that Trump had insisted the Russian annexation of Crimea was “illegal”. So much for appeasement.

Trump was also aggressive on the topic of Europe. Having just come from the NATO summit, where he berated Germany over buying gas from Russia while relying on America’s protection, Trump announced that the U.S. would compete with Russia to sell gas to Europe.

That is a major challenge of geopolitical significance, a sign the U.S. is going to use its technological edge in oil and gas production to boost Europe’s economic independence from Russia. All Russia has, Trump noted, is the advantage of location.

At the press conference, the Russian journalists — who do not enjoy press freedom — asked questions relevant to foreign policy. The American journalists – who are theoretically free to think freely – devoted nearly every single question to allegations relating to phony charges of Russian “collusion” with the Trump campaign, including the latest developments in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. Their concerns had little to do with US-Russia relations and everything to do with domestic US politics.

Trump’s critics are seizing on a single phrase: “I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”

He never “attacked” US intelligence agencies, nor did he explicitly take one side over the other. He said that he trusted Putin — as he should have done, if his goal was to improve relations. He added that “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia who carried out the hacking, nudging Russia toward a less adversarial posture.

Trump-haters are also pretending that Trump somehow elevated Putin by granting him a one-on-one meeting. Putin does not need the U.S. to make him more important. He has a massive nuclear arsenal. He just handed out the trophies at the FIFA World Cup. He has military bases in strategic points in key conflict zones.

The question is not whether Trump should have met Putin but rather why they had not met sooner, given the fact that certain US interests in 2018 cannot be achieved without cooperating with Russia.

It is worth noting that in meeting with Putin, Trump was honoring an explicit campaign promise. At a Republican primary debate in 2015, Trump said of Putin: “I would talk to him. I would get along with him. I believe–and I may be wrong, in which case I’d probably have to take a different path, but I would get along with a lot of the world leaders that this country is not getting along with.” Whatever the merits of that approach, the fact that Trump kept his word increases his credibility, at home and abroad.

Conservative critics — including myself — suggested at the time that Trump’s approach would fail, for the same reasons Obama’s “reset” had failed: namely, that the two countries have several divergent interests and values that transcend any particular pair of leaders.

But Trump has built an advantage that Obama never enjoyed by showing Putin that he is prepared to use the U.S. military to back American interests. That caught Putin’s attention and showed him he has at least some interest in cooperating, for now.

The meeting was also noteworthy for what was not said. Putin complained about the US pulling out of the Iran deal, but he was quiet about reports that the U.S. had killed hundreds of Russian military contractors in Syria (without losing a single American). Putin also said nothing about US airstrikes against Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.

He dared not complain. That is because, far from being weak, Trump has been tougher than his predecessors toward Russia, letting his actions speak louder than his words.

The ultimate test of the Helsinki summit lies in the future. The Soviet Union was thought to have “won” the historic conference in Helsinki in 1975, until the human rights provisions of the Helsinki Accords helped bring down communism.

What is clear already is that Trump advocated for American interests without conceding anything to Putin other than his dignity. Trump’s critics, who are reduced to worrying that a soccer ball [gifted to him by Putin] could be used to spy on the U.S., are hysterical precisely because they know he succeeded.

We too think the meeting was a success for President Trump. And yes, the test lies in the future.

Russia’s future does not look rosy.

Its economy is precarious. Its main export commodity is oil. Competition with America selling fossil fuels to Europe would be a serious blow to it.

As the Financial Times reported on February 27, 2018 [links to the FT do not work for non-subscribers]:

The lack of investment shows everywhere: low levels of industrial automation paired with a rapidly ageing and shrinking workforce; weak infrastructure; increasing bureaucracy; and corruption are driving production and transaction costs up, hampering attempts to compete with other emerging markets.

And the Russians themselves are dwindling away. Though Russia’s fertility rate has risen from 1.25 in 2000 (a rate which, if sustained, would halve the population with each generation) to 1.6 in 2018, it is still shrinking. Hence the “rapidly ageing and shrinking workforce” that the Financial Times mentions in passing.

However, the Democrats and their media shills cannot bear the idea that the summit was another success for President Trump.

John Brennan, one of the most evil players, erstwhile director of the CIA, goes so far as to say that the president’s meeting with Putin amounts to treason. That such a man makes such an accusation is deeply ironic.

George Neumayr explains at The American Spectator:

John Brennan’s anti-Trump tweets grow more and more maniacal. His latest tweet holds that Donald Trump’s Russian diplomacy in Helsinki “rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors’. It was nothing short of treasonous.”

That tells people all they need to know about the unseriousness of the left’s impeachment drive, not to mention exposing once again the demented malice behind the Obama administration’s spying on the Trump campaign.

The unhinged criticism is also hilariously rich, given that John Brennan, who supported the Soviet-controlled American Communist Party, meets the textbook definition of a useful idiot for the Russians. At the height of the Cold War, he was rooting for the Reds, casting his vote in 1976 for Gus Hall, the American Communist Party’s presidential candidate. If anyone is adept at serving as a dupe for the Russians, it is John Brennan. …

Anybody familiar with Brennan’s past, which includes not only supporting the evil empire of the Soviets but also the evil empire of radical Islam (his time as Obama’s CIA director was marked by apologetics for the thugs of the Muslim Brotherhood, ludicrous attempts to sanitize the concept of jihad, and nonstop whitewashing of the problem of Islamic terrorism), can only laugh at his anti-Trump antics.

That the media gives this fulminating fool and fraud a platform is a measure of its own lack of seriousness and absurdly sudden hawkishness.

The outrage about the Trump-Putin meeting is empty noise, generated by the America Last crowd to hurt an America First president. It won’t work. From Hillary to Pelosi to Brennan, they are the little lefties who cried wolf — after decades of feeding wolves. Their credibility is nil; their counsel is immature and reckless. …

Brennan isn’t just throwing stones from his glass house but boulders. He once said that he feared his support for Soviet stooge Gus Hall threatened his entrance into the CIA in 1980. This sounds like a wild satirical parody, but it isn’t: a dupe for the Soviet Union rises to the top of the CIA, uses his position to shill for Islamic radicals, eggs the FBI into spying on the Trump campaign, then leaves the CIA only to resume the radicalism of his youth, calling for civil disobedience and the overthrow of a duly elected president. Brennan’s only expertise on treachery comes from his own.

The right questions 5

The Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy’s chief persecutor of President Trump has sent him a list of questions, of the when-did-you-last-beat-your-wife type, in the hope of tricking him  into saying something for which they could have the House of Representatives impeach him, if that assembly should come to be dominated by the Democratic Party while President Trump is in office.

Here are questions that urgently need answers from the leaders of the Left-Wing Conspirators themselves.

From Front Page, by Lloyd Billingsley, questions for Chief Persecutor Robert Mueller:

Investigations normally pursue a crime. What crime, exactly, are you investigating? Given the time and money you have put in, the people have a right to know.

Special Counsel Mueller, if you operate in search of collusion, what statute, exactly, would you use to prosecute collusion? Please supply the numbers in the U.S. code.

Special Counsel Mueller, you have been called a man of great integrity. Why did you front-load your investigative team with highly partisan supporters of Hillary Clinton? Were independent, non-partisan lawyers not available?

If your target is Russian influence in general, Special Counsel Mueller, why are you not investigating the Clinton Foundation and its dealings with Russia? Have you consulted the book Clinton Cash?

Special Counsel Mueller, what is your understanding of Fanny Ohr? She is the Russia expert, wife of demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr, who worked for Fusion GPS on the Steele dossier. In your expert opinion, why might Fanny Ohr have acquired a short-wave radio license about that time? Was it to communicate with Russian contacts and avoid detection? Did the FBI monitor any of Ohr’s communications?

As you know, Peter Strzok was formerly FBI counterintelligence boss, a very important position. Why was agent Strzok unable to detect the work of the Democrats’ IT man Imran Awan, who had no security clearance but gained repeated unauthorized access to computers of the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committees? Was that because agent Strzok was busy exonerating presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for her destruction of evidence, including more than 30,000 emails?

Agent Strzok changed “gross negligence,” which was a crime, to “extremely careless,” which was not, and FBI boss James Comey repeated that change. What is your take on that? Did you ever exonerate a suspect before you even talked to them?

In your view, former FBI Director Mueller, what was all that business with Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton out on the tarmac? Was it just to exchange pleasantries? Given the time and money you have put in, the public has a right to know.

As you know, Special Counsel Mueller, the FBI sought to identify and discipline the agent who made public the Lynch-Clinton meeting. Who is that person and what is he or she doing now? As you know, agent Strzok still has his badge, his gun and his security clearance.

As you also know, the Communist Party USA was created and sustained by Soviet Russia. In the 1980 and 1984 elections, their candidates were Gus Hall for president and Angela Davis for vice president. Former FBI Director Mueller, how much did Russia spend on those elections? Or did the FBI not bother with Russian intervention in those days?

Former CIA boss John Brennan is claiming that Donald Trump will be relegated to the dustbin of history. In 1976, Brennan voted for the Stalinist Gus Hall for president. In your opinion, former FBI Director Mueller, should that have disqualified Brennan from working for the CIA? And would you have hired him at the FBI? If so, in what capacity?

As you know, Special Counsel Mueller, the FBI failed to stop Omar Mateen’s attack in Florida, and despite warnings failed to stop the Tsarnaev brothers from bombing the Boston Marathon. Why did the powerful agency you once headed fail to stop those acts of terrorism that claimed so many innocent lives?

The FBI was aware of Major Nidal Hasan’s emails to terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki but failed to stop him from murdering 13 unarmed American soldiers at Fort Hood. Sen. Joseph Lieberman sought to make the Hasan-Awlaki emails public but the FBI blocked their release.

Former FBI Director Mueller, when reporters asked you if the FBI had dropped the ball by failing to act, you said, “No. I think, given the context of the discussions and the situation that the agents and the analysts were looking at, they took appropriate steps.” Any second thoughts on that? At the time you expressed no regret over Hasan’s victims, but maybe you have some now?

Given that massive and deadly failure on your watch, why should the people have any confidence in your current probe? Given the time and money you have put in, your team of Clinton cronies, and the absence of any crime or collusion, the people have a right to know. Meanwhile, please indulge a final question

As Paul Kengor showed in The Communist, the FBI had an extensive file on African American Stalinist Frank Marshall Davis, who was in fact a Soviet agent. Were you aware that Frank Marshall Davis was the man known only as “Frank” in the Dreams from My Father book by POTUS 44? Did that ever come up in your time as FBI Director from 2001-2013? The people would sure like to know.

From American Greatness, by Victor Davis Hanson, questions for Barack Obama:

What did you mean when you were heard, by accident, on a hot mic, providing the following assurances to outgoing Russian Prime Minister Medvedev: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved, but it’s important for him to give me space . . . This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility”?

Did you and the Russian government have any private agreements to readjust Russian-American relations during your own 2012 reelection campaign? Were there other such discussions similar to your comments to Prime Minister Medvedev?

If so, do you believe such Russian collusion had any influence on the outcome of the 2012 election?

Did your subsequent reported suspension of, or reduction in, some planned missile defense programs, especially in Eastern Europe, have anything to do with the assurances that you gave to the Russian Prime Minister?

Did the subsequent Russian quietude during your 2012 reelection campaign have anything to do with your assurances of promised changes in U.S. foreign policy?

Did you adjudicate U.S. responses to Russian behavior on the basis of your own campaign re-election concerns?

More specifically, what exactly did you mean when you asked the Russian Prime Minister for “space”? And further what did you intend by suggesting that after your 2012 election you would have more “flexibility” with the Russian government?

Would you please define “flexibility” in this context?

What do you think Prime Minister Medvedev meant when he replied to your request for space, and your promise for flexibility after the election, with: “Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you . . . I understand . . . I will transmit this information to Vladimir?”

Did you hear subsequently from the Russians that Prime Medvedev had delivered the message that you had intended for Vladimir Putin?

Subsequently, did Vladimir Putin communicate with you about any such understanding that the U.S. government would modulate its foreign policy during your reelection campaign in exchange for “space”?

Did any such arrangement in 2012 have anything to do with the later absence of a strong U.S. response to subsequent cyber-attacks by Russian operatives, or to the later 2014 Russian invasions of both Eastern Ukraine and the Crimea?

During the email controversies over the illegal use of a private email account and server by your secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, you stated publicly that you first became aware of her improper use of a private server through press accounts. Yet records show that you yourself communicated with Secretary Clinton over her unauthorized email account. How do you reconcile your public statements with your private actions?

Did you ever at any time improperly transmit classified information over Secretary of State Clinton’s email server under a pseudonymous email account?

Do you feel that you violated federal law by communicating with your secretary of state over an unsecured email server?

Did you discuss in any fashion with your own Department of Justice the ongoing FBI investigation of Secretary of Clinton’s email server and account? Do you know anything about a September 2016, election-cycle communication in which FBI investigator Lisa Page texted to fellow FBI investigator Peter Strzok that “potus wants to know everything we’re doing?” What did you wish to know from the FBI about the email investigation?

When in August 2016 you declared on Fox News that then candidate Hillary Clinton had not endangered national security by the use of an unsecured email server (“I can tell that you this is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered . . .  she has not jeopardized America’s national security”), on what basis did you offer such a blanket exoneration? Had the FBI confirmed to you such a conclusion?

Do you have any knowledge of the contents of any of the 30,000 emails that were deleted by Secretary Clinton?

Were you aware at any time — before, during, or after — of a clandestine meeting between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former president Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac in Phoenix, Arizona before their meeting became public?

If so, what immediate actions did you take to ensure the integrity of the ongoing investigation of Secretary Clinton’s email account?

Were you briefed at any time on the contents of the Fusion GPS so-called Steele dossier? If so, when and by whom, and what actions did you take in response to such knowledge?

Were you aware that members of your Justice Department and the FBI had relied on the purchased Steele dossier to obtain FISA warrants to surveille member(s) of the Trump campaign staff during the 2016 election?

Were you aware at any time that FISA court judges were not informed of the fact that the author of the dossier has been hired by the Clinton campaign, or had been fired from a cooperative relationship with the FBI, or that the dossier itself was unverified by the FBI or that news accounts about it that were presented to the court as verification of its contents, were in fact, based on selective leaks of its contents to media sources?

If you were aware of any of the above, what action did you take?

Have you ever discussed the Fusion GPS/Steele dossier with Loretta Lynch, James Comey, Bruce Ohr, Glenn Simpson, Rod Rosenstein, or Hillary Clinton? If so when and under what circumstances?

Were you aware that transcripts of such subsequent FISA surveillance were made available to members of you own staff and administration, including, for example, Samantha Power, Ben Rhodes, and Susan Rice?

At any time during the 2016 campaign were you briefed on the contents of the Steele dossier by either your CIA director John Brennan, or Director of National Intelligence James Clapper?

Did you speak at any time with former Senator Harry Reid about the contents of the Steele dossier?

Were you aware at any time that members of your administration had viewed classified transcripts of such surveillance, requested that redacted names of the surveilled were to be unmasked, and then leaked those names to the press?

Did you ever approve or know of direct surveillance of the Trump campaign or transition?

If so, what actions did you take either to reprimand such actions or to prevent their recurrence?

At what time where you briefed by either FBI Director Robert Mueller, or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on the progress of the so-called Uranium One investigation?

Did Attorney General Loretta Lynch discuss with you the nature of that investigation?

Were you at any time worried about the compromised status of U.S. uranium sources, and if so what did you do about such concerns?

Did you at any time talk with members of the Russian government or those with ties with the Russian government about the Uranium One sale?

Were you aware at any time of massive gifting from Russian-related operatives to the Clinton Foundation?

Were you aware that Bill Clinton in June 2010 had received a $500,000 honorarium for a speech in Moscow from business interests with ties to the Russian government?

Did you at any time discuss with Secretary Clinton either President Clinton’s speech or her own violations of supposed promises and agreements with your office — specifically that both the Clinton Foundation and Bill Clinton would not have commercial relations or receive gifts/honoraria from any interests seeking commercial agreements or exemptions from the State Department?

Were you aware that Secretary Clinton’s personal aide, Huma Abedin, was as a private consultant conducting business with foreign entities, while still employed by the Clinton State Department?

How and when did you first become aware of the hacking of the email accounts at the Democratic National Committee?

Did your administration have any discussions with John Podesta, Donna Brazile or any members of the DNC concerning such data breaches?

Were you aware that DNC Chairman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, did not offer DNC computers to FBI investigators for examination after they were compromised?

Were you told by any member of your administration why this was so?

Were you aware at any time, prior to James Clapper’s false testimony in a congressional hearing, that the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies had illegally surveilled American citizens?

Were you aware at any time, prior to John Brennan’s false testimony in a congressional hearing, that U.S. drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan had inadvertently killed noncombatant civilians?

Did you take any action to reprimand John Brennan for lying to Congress on two occasions, concerning his false assertions that drones had not killed civilians, and that the CIA had not monitored U.S. Senate staffers’ computer communications?

Did you take any action to reprimand James Clapper for providing false testimony to the Congress concerning NSA surveillance?

Were you aware of the communications between your Justice Department and any local, state, or federal authorities concerning the jailing of Internet video maker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula on suddenly discovered probation violations?

When and by whom were you first briefed that the Benghazi attacks were pre-planned terrorist attacks and not, as members of your administration had alleged, spontaneous riots resulting from an Internet video?

When and by whom were you briefed about Lois Lerner’s conduct at the IRS?

Did you discuss with anyone Lois Lerner’s decision to invoke her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination?

On what basis did you assert that neither Lois Lerner nor her associates were guilty of “even a smidgen of corruption”?

Was your public exoneration based on any evidence presented to you by internal IRS or FBI investigators? If so, when and by whom?

Why in the last days of your presidential tenure, did you suddenly vastly expand the number of agencies and intelligence analysts privy to classified NSA intelligence gathering?

On what grounds did you take such action, and did your decision have anything to do with your knowledge of the classified surveillance of Donald Trump, or his campaign, or information in the Steele dossier?

In the past, were you aware of the circumstances under which the sealed divorce records of both your 2004 Illinois primary and general election Senate opponents, Blair Hull and Jack Ryan respectively, were illegally leaked to the press? At any time, did you view such sealed records and, if so, when and by whom were you apprised that such records were leaked to the press?

From us, one self-answering question:

Why does the Democratic Party reek of corruption?

Obama’s great idea: have a Communist Muslim run the CIA 6

The chief US intelligence agencies appear to consider themselves a fourth branch of government. They now deem themselves not answerable to Congress, nor to this president.

This is because their recent, now departed, leaders put them on the side of the enemies of the US.

In the long sad years (2009 – 2017) when America was led by anti-America Barack Obama, who had been a member of the far-left New Party, was a follower of the Communist Saul Alinsky, and manifestly loved (supremacist totalitarian) Islam – particularly as it was represented by the Muslim Brotherhood – the heads of the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA all helped him  implement his anti-America policies. (For Obama’s warm relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, see, for instance, our posts here and here.)

Obama felt it was perfectly okay to choose Muslim Brotherhood personnel to be his advisers in the White House. So James Clapper, head of the NSA, lied to the public about the Muslim Brotherhood, declaring it to be  “largely secular”, peacefully pursuing “social ends, a betterment of the political order in Egypt”, with “no overarching agenda, particularly in pursuit of violence”.

James Comey headed the FBI and apparently considered it his chief duty to shield Obama’s secretary of state, and presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton from the justice she deserves for her numerous crimes, including selling the favor of her office as Obamas’ secretary of state for her personal enrichment.

Bad as Clapper and Comey were for the nation, the  worst of the three was the head of the CIA, John Brennan.

They all hoped and expected that the corrupt candidate Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 presidential election. Since she lost it, they have sprung with fury on the winner, President Trump. John Brennan recently described the president as “unstable, inept, inexperienced, and unethical”.

Joseph Klein writes at Front Page:

The words “unstable, inept, inexperienced, and unethical” more accurately describe Brennan himself.  

Brennan claims to be worried about the Russian threat to U.S. national security, which he accuses President Trump of irresponsibly ignoring. However, Russia is a shadow of the Communist Soviet empire it once was while Brennan was coming of age. What does it say about Brennan’s judgment when, by his own admission, he once “voted for the Communist Party with Gus Hall,” even though Hall by then had been a long-time enthusiastic supporter of  the Communist Soviet Union’s hardline expansionist policies? Brennan got through his first polygraph test to enter the CIA in 1980 by saying simply “I’m not a member of the Communist Party”. But he had no problem with voting for its ardent pro-Soviet Communist cheerleader, a fact he may have obscured during his CIA application process.

Fast forward to 2014, while Brennan was serving as CIA director under former President Barack Obama. Brennan referred then to Russia simply as “a major power,” not as an enemy of the United States or as a significant geopolitical threat. In 2016, as the U.S. presidential election year was getting into high gear, Brennan reminisced that what stood out in his 35-year career in U.S. intelligence was when he [said:

I welcomed the head of the Russian FSB [Russia’s Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB], Alexander Bortnikov, to the CIA last year. And I walked with him across the lobby, across our infamous CIA seal there. It was rather surreal, that the head of the FSB and the head of the CIA were walking together.

Gus Hall would have been so proud of the man who once voted for him.

He only turned against Russia when he could claim to be outraged by the alleged “collusion” of President Trump with that country. Suddenly Brennan was implying that Russia was an enemy state after all.

As for Russia’s meddling in the U.S. presidential election during 2016, Brennan claims to have told the head of the Russian FSB, with whom he had such a cozy get-to-together at CIA headquarters the year before, that if Russia pursued its efforts to interfere, “it would destroy any near-term prospect for improvement in relations” between the two countries. Brennan’s rhetorical slap, with no immediate follow-up actions to impose severe consequences on Russia for its behavior, was inept at best.

All Brennan really did while in office on the subject of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election was to politicize the issue by pressing for an FBI investigation of alleged Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

Now, in a typical case of psychological projection, Brennan blames President Trump for not dealing effectively with Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election process, when that is precisely what Brennan failed to do himself when he had the chance. And in trying to distance himself from the infamous Steele dossier, which played such a critical role in moving the collusion investigation forward, Brennan may have committed perjury in his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in May 2017. Brennan claimed that he did not know who commissioned the Steele dossier and had “no awareness” whether the FBI ever relied on the Steele dossier as part of any court filing. He also denied that the CIA had relied on the dossier.

According to a report by Paul Sperry, published by RealClear Investigations on February 11, 2018:

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes next plans to investigate the role former CIA Director John Brennan and other Obama intelligence officials played in promoting the salacious and unverified Steele dossier on Donald Trump – including whether Brennan perjured himself in public testimony about it. … Several Capitol Hill sources say Brennan, a fiercely loyal Obama appointee, talked up the dossier to Democratic leaders, as well as the press, during the campaign. They say he also fed allegations about Trump-Russia contacts directly to the FBI, while pressuring the bureau to conduct an investigation of several Trump campaign figures starting in the summer of 2016.

If this turns out to be true, Brennan unethically abused his office as CIA director for partisan purposes to smear candidate Donald Trump and then lied about it to Congress.

As bad as all this is, Brennan was at his worst when it came to the global Islamist threat.

On May 26, 2010, for example, while serving as Obama’s deputy national security adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism, Brennan delivered a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in which he claimed that Islamists or jihadists were not our enemies. He said that “jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community”. Throughout his tenure as both Obama’s deputy national security adviser and CIA director, Brennan fundamentally misunderstood the ideological underpinnings of ISIS that had its roots in traditional Islam, as embodied in the Koran and in the words and actions of Prophet Muhammad. Islam began in the first place the same way that ISIS developed in carrying out and spreading its literalist dogma during Obama’s presidency – as a religion built on jihadist conquests to kill or subjugate disbelievers and make Islam supreme in the world.

Brennan misunderstood the Islamic nature of ISIS? If that was the case, it would mean that the man was both ignorant and stupid. As he is neither (he is said to have converted to Islam while he was posted in Saudi Arabia, and is obviously too cunning to be plain stupid) the only conclusion to be drawn from the fact of his defense of both Islam and ISIS is that he is on their side.

During a February 13, 2010 address at a meeting at the Islamic Center at New York University, facilitated by the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Brennan, whom some have claimed became a convert to Islam himself, said that Islam “helped to shape my own world view”.  He said Islam was “a faith of peace and tolerance and great diversity”.  He added, “We’re trying to be very careful and precise in our use of language, because I think the language we use and the images we project really do have resonance. It’s the reason why I don’t use the term jihadist to refer to terrorists. It gives them the religious legitimacy they so desperately seek, but I ain’t gonna give it to them.”

Brennan referred in his speech to Jerusalem by its Arabic name, Al-Quds. He blamed overzealous enforcement by the U.S. government for “creating an unhealthy atmosphere around many Muslim charities that made Muslims hesitant to fulfill their sacred obligation of zakat.

Zakat – one of the five obligations of a Muslim, called the “five pillars” of  Islam – is charity that goes to Muslims only, to promote Islam, which is to say the jihad, now being actively fought by the savage method of terrorism.

Apparently, Brennan was blind to the fact that many of these charities were used as fronts to fund terrorism, including the notorious Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. During the same 2010 Islamic Center speech, Brennan expressed satisfaction with the 20 percent recidivism rate among Guantanamo detainees, some of whom he acknowledged had participated in new terrorist attacks. “Twenty percent isn’t that bad,” he exclaimed.

In 2011, Brennan called for the FBI to eliminate its “offensive” curriculum and training materials, which made reference to “jihad” and “radical Islam”. 

Which plainly enough shows that he was, de facto, the Muslim Brotherhood’s man – heading the CIA!  

Both before and after Brennan served in the Obama administration, he has also consistently understated the threat posed by the radical fundamentalist Iranian regime and its terrorist proxy, Hezbollah. In a paper he published in July 2008, Brennan called on U.S. officials to “cease public Iran-bashing”.

As Obama’s deputy national security adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism, Brennan advocated reaching out to the so-called “moderate” elements of Hezbollah.  As CIA director, Brennan praised the Iranian regime for what he said were the “concessions” its leaders supposedly made to reach agreement on Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal. He claimed the deal was “as solid as you can get”. 

In fact, Obama made all of the concessions, agreeing to a deal full of loopholes exploited by Iran, which in the end allows Iran a pathway to developing nuclear weapons and the missiles capable of delivering them.

On January 2, 2018, Brennan tweeted his displeasure with the Trump administration’s condemnation of both the Iranian regime and the nuclear deal:

With wholesale condemnation of Iran and nuclear deal over past year, Trump Admin squandered opportunity to bolster reformists in Tehran and prospects for peaceful political reform in Iran.

There were no “reformists in Tehran”, and no “prospects for peaceful political reform in Iran”.

In fact, the appeasement policies followed by Obama and Brennan bolstered the Iranian regime and filled its coffers with cash to fund its state sponsorship of terrorism and support for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s brutal war on his own people. Obama and Brennan also turned a blind eye to the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses at home.

John Brennan, who entered the CIA despite his past support for the head of the U.S. Communist Party, rose to the top of the intelligence agency to become perhaps its worst director ever. He is the last person to give anyone advice on national security, let alone to President Trump, who has had to clean up the mess left behind by Obama and Brennan.

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