Power against the people 4

About half the electorate voted in November 2020 for Donald Trump to be president. Most estimates of the number of votes for him range from 74 million to 80 million, the higher number including guesses at the number that were deliberately discarded or changed by machines or human hands.

Even at the lowest estimate, that’s a lot of people – millions more than the entire population of the United Kingdom or France. National leaders who depend on the will of enfranchised citizens to attain power would surely want to win the approval of so large a portion of the electorate. But no. Having wangled a win of the presidency, gained the Senate, and retained  their majority in the House of Representatives, the Democrats immediately stepped up their abusing, blaming, despising, humiliating, suppressing, impoverishing, menacing, and alienating the half of the nation that did not vote for them.

Breitbart reports:

Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson Tonight host Tucker Carlson warned [January 29, 2021] about the tactics employed by Democrats and their allies to suppress dissent

We quote the transcript, slightly abridged.

Carlson said:

Maybe the single biggest mystery … is why Democrats became so vicious after they won.

So, Joe Biden got the White House, his party took the Congress, you’d think they’d be thrilled. That’s what they wanted. You’d think they’d be celebrating. But no. Instead they started a purge.

Within hours, Democrats began crushing even the mildest dissent. They shut down an entire social media company called Parler, not because Parler had done anything wrong, but simply because they couldn’t control it. They couldn’t take the chance that somebody on Parler might criticize them, so they eliminated it.

Then two days ago, they arrested a man and threw him in handcuffs, brought him up on federal charges because he made fun of Hillary Clinton on Twitter. That man is now facing 10 years in prison.

Democrats then declared war on their rival political party – not, by the way, a metaphorical war but an actual one with soldiers and paramilitary law enforcement and the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies. They denounced Republicans, even the moderate establishment figures who pose really no conceivable threat to anyone.

They denounced them as”dangerous terrorists” and likened them to ISIS and al Qaeda!

Those (mostly) all-too-inoffensive, circumspect, passive, milquetoast men and women!

Anyone who complained about this or fought back in any way, was threatened with expulsion from Congress.

In other words, it doesn’t matter what voters decided in November, in the name of “democracy” you can no longer serve in Congress. That’s what they said. Nor are dissidents permitted in the Federal bureaucracy. No one who disagrees with our beliefs, Democrats have announced, can work in the U.S. government.

We’re not overstating it; that all actually happened, and you saw it. Nothing like that has ever taken place in this country before. This is the most sweeping and audacious assault on civil liberties in American history.

So, the question is, what accounts for this? Why are they doing it? It’s worth figuring that out.

On the most basic level, of course, it’s a power grab. We said that from the first day and it remains true. The Democratic Party doesn’t exist to serve some abstract principle, liberty and justice or the Bill of Rights. No. Nor is its primary goal improving the lives of its voters. …

No, the Democratic Party exists to accumulate power, all of it. Some is never enough. The impulse is to control everything. So that’s what they’re trying to do now amidst the chaos and tumult.

But that’s not all that’s going on right now. There’s more. Look around: watch as Democrats erect a permanent steel prison fence around the United States Capitol. Why is that fence there? Well, to protect the people inside, to keep the public out of what we used to call the People’s House. That’s happening tonight as we speak.

Then notice the thousands of armed soldiers and law enforcement agents stationed outside that fence. What’s their purpose? Again, protecting the people inside.

Then ask yourself why are House Democrats planning to use federal committee funds to pay for more personal security for themselves? Why the renewed push to seize firearms from law-abiding Americans who have committed no crime? Why does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seem on the verge of tears as she describes as she was almost murdered on January 6 at the Capitol.

She is not entirely putting it on, she seems to mean it.

If you’re sensing a theme here, there is in fact a theme and the theme is panic, fear and it’s real. You are looking at leaders who are genuinely afraid of the people they are supposed to be leading.

Here’s the really interesting thing: they seem much more afraid now that Donald Trump has left office. With Donald Trump gone, they sense that a period of actual populism has begun, real populism, and they may be right.

Look at what happened this week on Wall Street. A group of guys on Reddit trading stocks in their boxer shorts exposed the entire American finance establishment as the corrupt and fraudulent scam that it often is. That’s a pivotal moment in this country.

Once you see something like that, you can’t un-see it. Once someone pulls the mask from your face, he still remembers your face. People’s attitudes about our economy will change forever because of what happened this week. It’s a big deal.

The Biden administration’s response to what happened this week? …

The truth is our leaders don’t have answers. They don’t even have explanations for what’s going on. Worse than that, they themselves are deeply implicated in the systemic problems – in some cases, the crimes – that are dragging the country down. They know all this. They know their guilt. Here’s the thing: they know that you know it, too, and that’s why they’re afraid. They know why populism is rising, and it is.

So, this really is the time to make a decision about how to respond to it. What our leaders do next will define what America looks like going forward.

It wouldn’t even be hard to begin the process of fixing things or bringing actual unity to a country that badly needs unity.

In a democracy, the first step to unifying the country is always the same. Leaders enter into a power-sharing agreement with the people they lead. They do the obvious thing, they stop lying to their own citizens, they stop attacking them, and they respect their culture. They don’t try to control people’s beliefs. That’s not their role.

They treat their own citizens like adults, meaning they treat them fairly. And above all, they cut the public in on some of the fruits of the country’s success. If all the benefits of our economy seem to be accruing to a small number of people, that’s a problem and they try hard to fix it.

Wise leaders know that unequal countries are volatile countries. They know that caste systems are not compatible with democracies. But our leaders don’t seem to know any of that. Instead, they tell us that solar cars and mandatory diversity training are the real solutions to our problems. But no one buys that, those are not real solutions, they are a smokescreen. They’re a diversion tactic.

So if not hard in theory, here and now in actuality “bringing unity” is not just hard but impossible. The two halves of the population are irreconcilable.

Populism starts when people start to figure that out, and they have. And that’s why everything suddenly feels so unstable right now, because once again, real populism is brewing.

In the face of all of that, the people in charge are doing the single stupidest, most counterproductive thing that any leader could do in the face of a populist movement. They’re refusing to admit their role in the decline. They’re refusing to admit their failures, and instead, they are blaming the people they have failed.

They’re literally declaring war on their own population. How’s that going to end?

And if you think we’re overstating it, we’re not. Here’s the former CIA Director describing what the enemy looks like.

John Brennan, former CIA director on videoclip:

And this threat from domestic violence extremists is much more challenging, I believe, than it was in terms of going after foreign terrorists. The domestic violent extremists are much more pervasive, their numbers are much larger. When we’re going after al Qaeda or other types of terrorist group cells in the United States, their numbers were in the single digits of dozens and was finding needles in a haystack. Here, there are a lot of haystacks with a lot of needles in them. They have the wherewithal, they already have the weapons that if they so choose to use them, they can in fact, carry out these deadly attacks.

So many problems in this country, evident to anyone who is paying attention, but John Brennan, the former CIA Director has isolated the real problem. The real problem is you.

According to Brennan, anyone who disagrees with say, Susan Rice is worse than Osama bin Laden and more dangerous. These people, meaning you, “have the weapons”. These “terrorists”. By terrorists, Brennan means tens of millions of American citizens who might have a firearm at home and didn’t vote for Joe Biden. They’re the threat and we need to hunt them as we hunted al Qaeda. …

It is hard to imagine a leader saying something more destructive and more reckless than that on television in a moment as fraught as the one we’re in. It’s terrifying in its stupidity

This isn’t crying fire in a crowded theater, this is using a flame thrower in a crowded theater. What are the implications of a former CIA Director talking like this? It’s not going to make anyone more moderate. That’s for certain. Just the opposite.

John Brennan is creating more extremists than a Pakistani madrasa. And it’s not just him, all the news channels other than this one right now are repeating this now-official line that the American government is at war with its own population.

Here is CNN’s version.

Don Lemon, CNN anchor on videoclip:

My colleague, Jim Sciutto, he has covered international terrorism for 20 years and says that the parallels to the domestic terror threat are frightening. And he points to and I quote here, “Radicalization online, demonization of the enemy to justify violence, draw to a cause greater than themselves devotion to a cultish leader.”

That said, are we doing enough to combat this threat?

Jim Sciutto, CNN anchor:

This is the way law enforcement looks at the domestic terror threat now is equal or greater than international terrorism. If we compared that to a U.S. politician propagating Islamist terrorist thought, materials, lies, et cetera, imagine the reaction. And yet sadly, there’s still a partisan reaction to this, some denying that the threat is real and that the lie behind the threat is dangerous.

Tens of millions of ordinary Americans who have done nothing more aggressive than cheer and vote for President Donald Trump pose a threat “greater than international terrorism”? 

American citizens are more dangerous than foreign terrorists?  … That is completely untrue and completely reckless. …  The Department of Homeland Security, which has been upping the domestic threat for the past week  … has no actual evidence that Trump voters are planning to hurt anyone, there is no evidence of a plot of any kind, they can see that. Trust us, they would tell you if they found a plot.

But the question you have to ask yourself is, what kind of effect do lies like that have, the ones you just heard, calculated to terrify you? What kind of effect do they have on the country?  …

When you tell people they’re evil because of how they vote or how they look, and our leaders are definitely telling them that every single day – when you train a population to tally every group of Americans by race and ethnicity, first and foremost, keep track of people’s genetic background every time you see a picture –  really, what effect does that have? When you promote group identity, even as you intentionally destroy national identity?

If you do all of those things, what kind of country do you get at the end?

Well, you get a scary divided country, the kind of country where you need steel fencing outside the national legislature.

It’s very obvious where all of this is going. And it’s very, very bad. Part of the solution is to stop talking like this immediately. No more aging spies on cable news declaring war on American citizens.  ” Domestic political enemies more dangerous than al Qaeda”? What?

No more power-mad members of Congress dividing people by race so they can conquer. “White fragility”, “white supremacy”, “white sounds” – those are racial attacks. Let’s stop lying about it. We shouldn’t talk that way in public.

Those attacks are making people crazy. … and dangerous …

Watch this clip and ask yourself what kind of effect this woman is having on the United States right now.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on video clip:

There are legitimate [?] white supremacist sympathizers that sit at the heart and at the core of the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives. There’s no consequences for racism, no consequences for massaging [?[, no consequences for insurrection, and no consequences means that they condone it. We are now away from acting out of fealty to their President that they had in the Oval Office, and now we are talking about fealty to white supremacist organizations as a political tool.

… Think about the effect on the people listening … “Fealty to white supremacist organizations as a political tool“?  What does that even mean? We’re not even sure who she is talking about. Apparently, the Republican Party and its Grand Kleagle, Kevin McCarthy of California!

(In fact, Kevin McCarthy, minority leader of the House, is the very model of a milquetoast Republican.)

It’s a lie. … It’s a fantasy – a very dark fantasy, designed to terrify people and make them easier to command.

Over time, probably not long now, it will have other more insidious effects. Talk like that, from our leaders, from our elected officials, is going to turn some of our citizens very, very radical.

You don’t want to live in a country with very, very radical people.

Whatever Tucker Carlson’s intentions were when he said all that – and he concludes by stating firmly that neither he nor Fox News is radical  – his words predict civil war, real civil war, fought with fire and bullets.

If it comes to that, it will not be the fault of those who want to keep the Republic they inherited, but of those who want to force it to change.

The People are not terrorists. The terrorists are the people in power.

A new America made in China? 1

The powerful coterie that accused Donald Trump, first as a candidate for the presidency and then as president, of “colluding” with Vladimir Putin to do something-or-other in the interest of Russia and against the interest of the United States, knew perfectly well that the accusation was a lie since they themselves had invented it. They would have him exposed and punished as a traitor to the country he led, knowing full well that he was nothing of the sort but in fact a passionate American patriot.

Now their chosen president, Joe Biden, and his powerful supporters – billionaires, owners of vast international corporations, film makers, newspaper and television moguls, federal bureaucrats, career diplomats, primates of academia – are colluding with the Chinese Communist Party to do what it pays them to do in the interest of China and against the interest of the United States.

Victor Davis Hanson writes at American Greatness about the “collusion” and the collusion:

“Collusion” destroyed what was left of respect for the Washington FBI, the CIA, and the liberal news media. …

“Collusion” … allowed befuddled Russian appeasers and naïfs to … recalibrate themselves as our new version of Cold War hawks. It was as if a supposedly geriatric and anemic Russia suddenly had transmogrified back into the huge and global-menacing Soviet Union …

But the chief motive for the “collusion” accusation was the destruction of Donald Trump; the driving force behind the hoax, sheer hatred of him – and of the tens of millions of Americans who trusted him to make their lives more prosperous and fulfilling. (Which he did.)

“Collusion” was, as the debased FBI agent Peter Strzok had texted, the “insurance policy” of the administrative state to keep the “smelly”, the “ugly folk”, and “dregs” where they belonged—far, far from power. …

“Collusion” took off because so many of those directly involved in its illegality—Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, and Hillary Clinton—pushed the “collusion” lie in roles of respected senior “wise men and women” with “security clearances” who knew “what was really going on”. …

[The accusation of] “collusion” did hurt Donald Trump, the sum of all their hatreds. “Collusion” was behind the dishonest and embarrassing witch hunt of Robert Mueller’s 22-month $35 million investigation. It was the subtext of a fraudulent impeachment …

The “collusion” fraud tore the country apart. It destroyed the reputations of James Comey, Robert Mueller, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, network news, and what had been left of the little repute of Brennan, Clapper, McCabe, and Andrew Weissmann. …

The “collusion” effort, its proven dishonesty, and its complete failure to remove Donald Trump, did not lead to a hiatus. …  No, the abject failure of “collusion’s” outlandish premises, and the impunity given those who destroyed so many lives and hurt the country, only whetted the appetite of the “Resistance”. The slow-motion coup aficionados promised to do better in the next round.

Remember, those who lied under oath, abused government power, broke the law, and unmasked and leaked classified information, to this day, have never been held to account. Nor have the journalists who spread these untruths and demonized any who refuted them.

And so with that exemption, the Left pressed on to impeachment and, eventually, remaking the very system of how we voted in 2020.

And while the lying was going on –

There was a real, far more dangerous collusion that was burrowed deep within the U.S. administrative state, the Democratic Party, corporate boardrooms, Big Tech, professional sports and entertainment, and the media.

If, save for its rusting nuclear arsenal, Russia was shrinking, poor, and spent, not so was China. It was rich, huge, and ruthlessly hellbent on global hegemony—if not by bribery and corruption, then by naked commercial and military force.

[There was] a NATO along a much weaker Russia’s borders, [but] until Trump there was nothing much to protect Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan from China. …

Beijing, far better than Russia, understands how to unravel a new America, unhinged and obsessed with race, victimization, and “privilege”. 

Hollywood has had a field day with casting big-screen, shaved-headed, Orthodox tattooed, Russian mafia killers and brutes as the evil enemies of all noble minority and feminist film heroes. Yet at the same time, progressive studio heads and producers were reassuring the 1.4 billion people in the Chinese market that they would cull darker-skinned minority American actors so as not to offend the innate racism of the Chinese movie-goer. No one said a word about the paradox.

[China can] put 1 million religious dissidents in a gulag archipelago, destroy the semi-independence of Hong Kong, threaten any of its dissident neighbors with commercial destruction, embark on the largest imperialist and colonialist project in two centuries throughout Africa, Asia, and Europe, obliterate the culture of Tibet, militarize, with man-made atolls, the South China Sea, systematize internal surveillance, nonchalantly practice institutional racism, and infect the planet with a novel virus—and receive almost no official criticism from the United Nations and the governments of the European Union and the United States …

[What do] Michael Bloomberg, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Representative Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), the elite universities of the United States, the family of Joe Biden, Lebron James, and Colin Kaepernick all have in common?

Easy. A presidential primary candidate [Bloomberg] assures us that China is not an authoritarian country as he pours billions into jump-starting Chinese companies.

The erstwhile head of the U.S. Senate’s intelligence committee [Dianne Feinstein] has had a Chinese spy as her chauffeur for 20 years and a spouse who has millions in joint-Chinese ventures.

A congressman on the House Intelligence Committee [Eric Swalwell] was deeply compromised by an attractive young Chinese spy—a fact kept silent for years.

The Department of Education complains that our best universities have failed, again for years, to report tens of millions of dollars in “gifts” from Chinese government-affiliated companies.

Hunter Biden and his familial clique received millions of dollars in Chinese investment monies for no reason other than the “big guy” Joe Biden was vice president.

Our sports icons simultaneously trashed American democracy while keeping mum about Chinese racist dictatorship, the source of their millions in endorsements and franchising.

Remember just those few examples and one realizes that something is gone haywire with those at the very heart of America’s power and cultural influence.

And the most depressing fact of all? Even if we had investigative reporters and crusading congressional representatives, or past administrations before 2016 interested in real collusion, then what could they really have done? …

How many Wall Street grandees, how many media moguls, how many ex-politicians and bureaucrats (now “consultants” and “analysts”), and how many retired esteemed generals would journalists have had to reexamine to adjudicate whether their public views and corporate policies were warped by Chinese profiteering?

One can lie about “collusion” with impunity. But to speak the truth about collusion is to be smeared as “xenophobic”, “racist”, and “nativist”. 

China has piggybacked on the entire diversity/identity politics domestic cancel culture. …

Our elite simplistically conflates the Russian nationalist dictator and kleptocrat Vladimir Putin with the criminal past of the now-defunct Stalinist Soviet Union that killed 20 million of its own. Yet in creepy fashion, it still remains indifferent that Chinese President Xi Jinping, current General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and Chairman of the Chinese Central Military Commission, heads a government apparatus that is the direct and unbroken successor to Mao Zedong’s Communist killing machine that wiped out over 50 million of its own people. …

Given the present U.S. “collusion” hysteria of the anti-Trump Left, had a Russian city been the source of the origin and transmission of the virus, had SARS-CoV-2 been connected to research and experimentation within a Level-4 Russian virology lab, and had the Russians lied about these facts, and, either through laxity or deliberation, allowed the virus to infect the world, kill over 1.5 million, and destroy the global economy, then we would have been on the brink of war.

Once China has finished “unravelling” this “new America, unhinged and obsessed with race, victimization, and “privilege”, will it “build [it] back better” (as the slogan of the globalists runs) and make an entirely new America in its own image?

The quickest, smartest, simplest, most efficient way the Democrats, pressed as they are by their rising communist generation (represented in government by “the Squad”), could turn the United States of America into the United Socialist States of America (USSA), is to invite the Chinese to take over the running of the country. The ruling Chinese Communist Party wouldn’t need to send many of its agents here, as there are tens of thousands of them already in place.

A few top men would need to be flown over. (They would be men, not women, not transgenders. Their pronouns would be only he, him, his.)

It would be an unremarkable event when a smiling Chinese Communist fresh from Beijing enters the Oval Office, waits while a befuddled Joe Biden is gently removed from the chair at the president’s desk and escorted out into limbo, and quietly takes his place.

The Durham hypothesis 7

Is there such a thing in the making as “the Durham Report”?

It retreats perpetually from those who thirst for it, like a mirage in a desert.

Was ever document so eagerly awaited?

Expectation of its transformative powers so trusted?

Its publication so often postponed?

Does “John Durham” actually exist? 

It has been a year and a half since Attorney General William Barr announced that he had assigned a lawyer named John Durham to conduct an investigation into the FBI’s investigation into the Democrats’ allegation that Russia had interfered in the 2016 elections to help Donald Trump win the presidency.

Why this particular man? Seems he is an arch Investigator. One might say, an investigators’ Investigator.

He has done so much investigating that one cannot after all seriously doubt that he exists.

So what is the record of his investigations? Is it very impressive that he should be appointed to investigate again and again by succeeding Attorneys General?

Well, maybe not very encouraging to those who hope that he will be the nemesis of the fraudsters who forged scurrilous “evidence” against Donald Trump.

It was this very John Durham who was  appointed in 2008 by Attorney General Michael Mukasey to investigate whether the CIA had destroyed the videotapes of their interrogations of terrorist prisoners detained at Guantanamo. In 2010, Durham completed his investigations but did not recommend any criminal charges. His findings in that case have never been made public.

In August 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder appointed the same John Durham to investigate whether the CIA had used torture to elicit information from Guantanamo detainees. In particular he investigated the deaths of two detainees reportedly under torture in 2011. But the investigation was closed in 2012 without any charges being filed.

To come back to this John Durham’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election: his remit was “to broadly examine the government’s collection of intelligence involving the Trump campaign’s interactions with Russians”.

Seems to us there is an underlying assumption there that the Trump campaign actually did “interact” with Russians. But we know he didn’t. So that’s what Investigator John Durham will find out, right?

Oh, and our hopes were stoked up when in late October 2019 we got some exciting news of the Durham investigation. It had evolved from a  plain investigation into, we were told, a criminal investigation. How we all looked to John Durham to see that justice would be done, the forgers of “evidence” against Donald Trump exposed, their villainy laid bare for all to see in court, their due punishment pronounced. We could almost hear the sound of their cell doors being shut and locked.

And what we supposed was the first of these delights, the deep satisfaction of our need to see justice done, came with the news that an FBI attorney named Kevin Clinesmith was being charged with altering an email to make it seem that one member of Donald Trump’s campaign, Carter Page, was not a US intelligence “asset”, when he actually was. It all began to happen. Clinesmith was brought to court! He was found guilty! He was sentenced – wait. No, sorry, he wasn’t sentenced. But we are told he will be sentenced. Sure. Of course. Now for the next one.

There has not been a next one.

Oh, but the Report itself … wasn’t it about to appear? Hadn’t we been told it would be published before Labor Day? Ye-es, but the publication had been postponed. To October. Fine, fine – it will be out before the election. It will undeceive millions who have believed the “Trump interaction with Russia” lie. The truth will help the Trump campaign.

No. Sorry again. There is no plan to publish the Report before the election.

Aaaah!

So now? Nothing? A bit of news: one of those who we had reason to believe was a chief conspirator against Donald Trump, John Brennan, head of the CIA, was told by Investigator John Durham that he was not “a subject or target of a criminal investigation”.

What? If not John Brennan then who?

No one. No one did anything wrong. It was not wrong to compile a dossier full of false information extremely damaging to an elected president or to leak it to the press. It was not wrong to wiretap Trump tower in order to spy on Donald Trump himself. It was not wrong to set up an investigation to the same end, draw it out for years, let it spend tens of millions on what everyone involved knew was a wild goose chase, there never having been any interaction between Donald Trump and Russians. Nothing wrong, let alone criminal.

Only some allies and associates of Trump were found to have done terribly wicked things, like forget something they’d said under oath, so apparently contradicted themselves, so had been caught lying, and so deserved long imprisonment. To be specific, that’s what Durham’s little church of innocents did to Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, as everybody knows.

So a report won’t come from John Durham, eventually, which will reveal the truth? All the truth? Now that the election is over? All won’t be revealed, all put right, at last?

No.

 

Post script: John Durham was also entrusted with an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. We found plenty wrong with it. (See for instance here and here.) The great Investigator found nothing wrong with it at all. Not a thing.

American hero 4

A future president? Successor in 2024 to Donald Trump?

Richard Grenell

President Trump’s acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell told the House Intelligence Committee, chaired by Adam Schiff, that if they did not release transcripts of interviews conducted by the panel during its Russia probe in 2017 and 2018, he would do it himself.

The deeply dishonest and dishonorable Representative Adam Schiff had tried to keep the transcripts secret, because they reveal that the truth is the exact opposite of a claim he has been making for years. He had spoken often and vehemently of the massive quantity of evidence he possessed that Donald Trump, when he was a candidate for the presidency he later won, had “colluded” with the Russian government, in particular with President Putin, against the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

No such evidence could possibly exist because such “collusion” never happened. We now know that it was Hillary Clinton’s campaign and some sympathetic bureaucrats and intelligence agents who had used fictitious information (some of it perhaps from Russia, and if so in collusion with that enemy!) to frame Donald Trump.

Schiff, it emerges, had so totally deluded himself into believing his own lie that even after the transcripts were released under pressure from Grenell, and everyone could see that they provided no such evidence as he had claimed, he went on insisting that they did.

Fox News reported on May 7 that Schiff even cited the Mueller report, which had cleared President Trump of the charge, as confirmation that the alleged Trump-Russia collusion had taken place! Schiff said:

Despite the many barriers put in our way by the then-Republican Majority, and attempts by some key witnesses to lie to us and obstruct our investigation, the transcripts that we are releasing today show precisely what Special Counsel Robert Mueller also revealed: that the Trump campaign, and Donald Trump himself, invited illicit Russian help, made full use of that help, and then lied and obstructed the investigations in order to cover up this misconduct.

Not only do they show no such thing, what they do show is witness after witness testifying that he or she knew nothing about any such collusion. Not a drop or hint of any evidence whatsoever to support Adam Schiff’s false claim emerges from anyone’s testimony.

Fox reports:

The transcripts are full of testimony from officials who said they were unaware of evidence showing coordination between the Trump team and the Russians.

And no matter what deluded Schiff imagines to be case, the facts are now in the open, thanks to Richard Grenell.

And that is not all Grenell has done. He made more information public which Democrats had tried to keep hidden.

He declassified and released a list of top Obama administration officials who had requested the “unmasking” of Lt. Gen. Flynn during the presidential transition period. The list included then Vice President Joe Biden, James Comey then head of the FBI, John Brennan then head of the CIA, and James Clapper then Director of National Intelligence.

Soon after that he released an entire email that Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice had written and sent to herself on President Trump’s inauguration day, about an Oval Office meeting held some days earlier in which the Russia investigation plot was discussed. Present at the  meeting, she recorded, was Obama himself, Joe Biden, James Comey, and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. She repeated several times that Obama insisted everything they did to carry out the plot against the incoming president and his appointed security advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, must  be “done by the book”. Yet Obama could not have believed that there was a legal way, a method approved by the “book” of the law, to stage a coup d’état!

So the plot has been blown wide open, and President Trump rightly calls it “the greatest political crime in the history of our country”.

Grenell has also served his country and its president well as US Ambassador to Germany.  Bruce Bawer specifies how at Front Page (in an article mainly about the furious reaction of the Democrats to the fact that the first openly gay man to be a Cabinet member has been appointed by President Trump, who, they constantly allege without a trace of evidence as usual, is “anti-gay”).

In Berlin [Grenell] called on German firms to stop commerce with Iran and pushed Angela Merkel’s government to spend more on defense, take back an old Nazi from the U.S., and ban Hezbollah. …

Anyone remotely familiar with the situation knows that Germany has long been the most anti-American country in Western Europe; a few months ago, a survey showed that only 35% of Germans view the U.S. positively and that “Germans now have more trust in China than in the United States”. …

[[Yet] German firms did cut ties with Iran; Merkel’s government did hike its defense budget; she took that old Nazi off our hands; and, yes, Hezbollah got banned. …

The salient point about Grenell’s stint in Germany is that he’s exactly what the German-American relationship has needed for a long time. Germans, or at least German elites, have always looked down on Americans as rubes and boors; after we crushed their evil empire in 1945, they kept a low profile for a couple of decades, whereupon the War in Vietnam gave them an excuse to climb back on their high horse. After that, the contempt ran deeper than ever, because, whatever their pretensions, they knew we were a superpower and they weren’t, and that was, for them, an unbearable thought. Their chronic lust for power was satiated by the transformation of the Common Market into the EU, which gave German leaders the vast continental empire they always wanted.

While consolidating power over that empire, the Germans have treated their sometime conqueror and longtime protector, the U.S. with increasing disrespect, welshing on NATO debt and ignoring U.S. concerns about their dealings with Iran and Russia. More than any American envoy before him, Grenell, with Trump’s backing, has called them on the carpet for this, put them in their place, knocked them off their perches. (As Victor Davis Hanson has put it, “Trump did not create the wound with Germany. He simply tore off the scab, exposed, and poked at what was long festering beneath.”) They can’t stand it, but they have to take it, because they know what’s what and who’s who. It’s good for them. It’s good for the world. …

So Richard Grenell is good for America, good for the conservative Right, good for the Trump administration – and good for the world.

Respecting a traitor 1

For some years a gang of traitors – affiliated with an inimical international movement – has been trying to overthrow the elected president of the United States.

One of the gang leaders is now running for the office of president himself.

Which is more necessary to the nation: that he be allowed to run and possibly become the head of the state which he tried to undermine, or that he be brought to trial?

David Horowitz writes at Front Page:

This was all Obama. This was all Biden. These people were corrupt. The whole thing was corrupt. And we caught them. We caught them.  – President Trump.

Perhaps the most troubling – and dangerous – aspect of the current political conversation is the unwillingness of virtually every elected official and every media pundit to confront what “Obamagate” is obviously about, which is treason. Specifically, treason committed by the Obama White House in attempting to block and then overthrow the Trump presidency. Obamagate is about the failed attempt by President Obama and his appointees to use government intelligence agencies to spy on the Trump campaign and White House, to concoct a phony accusation of collusion with Russia against the president and then to obstruct his administration and overthrow him.

Rudy Giuliani, attorney to President Trump, was willing to call it treason:

They wanted to take out the lawfully elected President of the United States and they wanted to do it by lying, submitting false affidavits, using phony witnesses — in other words, they wanted to do it by illegal means . . . What is overthrowing government by illegal means? It’s a coup; treason.

This aggressive statement by the president’s lawyer is a sure guarantee that a reckoning is coming in the days ahead. But first there are the semantics. Responding to Giuliani’s accusation, law professor Jonathan Turley wrote: “No, James Comey Did Not Commit Treason.”  According to Turley: “Giuliani is engaging in the same blood sport of using the criminal code to paint critics as not just criminals, but traitors. …”

Technically, but in a very limited way, Turley is right. Treason is defined in Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution in these words:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

There’s a reason the Founders designed so restrictive a definition of treason. They were all guilty of it for rebelling against their king. This led to Benjamin Franklin’s famous quip: “We must all hang together or we shall all hang separately.”

But this legal definition of the crime is only one aspect of the issue, and in the end it is the less important one for understanding the significance of what has happened. There is also the common usage of the words “treason” and “traitor”, which speak to the moral dimensions of the crime. It is these meanings that provide a proper guide to the seriousness and scope of what Obama, Biden, Comey, Brennan, Clapper and the others involved actually did.

This is the Merriam Webster definition of treason: “1: the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign’s family. 2: the betrayal of a trust: treachery.”

“To overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance” –is a pretty precise definition of what Obamagate is about.

Although early on, the outlines of this conspiracy were clear to dogged investigators like Congressman Devin Nunes, they have remained obscure to anti-Trump partisans. This is due to the protective wall created for the conspirators by Obama appointees at the Department of Justice, unprincipled Democrats on the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, and a corrupt news media that has redefined its mission to be that of a propaganda squad for the conspiracy itself. Consequently, it has taken nearly four years to recover the documentary evidence that might persuade an honest critic of the Trump administration of the crime the anti-Trump camp has committed.

Two recent actions have served to demolish the plotters’ protective wall and bring the true dimensions of Obamagate to light. The first was Trump’s appointment of Rick Grenell as acting Director of National Intelligence. Until then the transcripts of the impeachment hearings had been closed to the public by the Intel Committee chairman, Adam Schiff. This allowed Schiff to leak testimony damaging to the president and suppress testimony exonerating him. The full testimonies by high-ranking foreign policy officials had remained under Schiff’s lock and key for over a year.  Grenell told Schiff that he would unlock the testimonies if Schiff didn’t, which is how they came to light.

What the newly released testimonies showed was that one Obama appointee after another when questioned by Republicans on the committee had said they had no evidence whatsoever that there was any collusion between Trump or the Trump team and the Russians. In other words, from the very beginning of the plot against Trump, the conspirators including President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and the heads of the intelligence agencies knew that the charge of collusion – of treason – which they had concocted to destroy Trump was fraudulent. Despite this, they went ahead with the $35 million Mueller investigation that tied Trump’s hands in dealing with the Russians and spread endless false rumors about his allegiances, and in the end found no evidence to support the character assassinations the investigation spawned.

The second revelation was the result of an FBI declassification of hitherto hidden documents describing a White House meeting on January 5, 2017 – two weeks before the inauguration of the new president. The meeting was attended by the outgoing president and vice president, the heads of the intelligence agencies, the acting Attorney General and Obama’s outgoing National Security adviser Susan Rice. The subjects of the meeting were the targeting of General Michael Flynn – Trump’s incoming National Security Adviser – and the infamous Steele dossier which the Hillary campaign and the DNC had paid a former British spy to compile with information from the Russian secret police. The dossier was designed to discredit Trump and set up the Russia-collusion narrative. The targeting of Flynn involved unmasking an innocuous conversation with the Russian Ambassador which was then used to smear Flynn and get him fired. Shortly after the meeting the fact that Flynn was under investigation was leaked to the Washington Post – a felony punishable by 10 years in jail. This leak opened a floodgate of public accusations – backed by no evidence – that Trump and everyone close to him were agents of the Russians.

The secret war the Obama White House declared on Trump before he was even elected, was a war on America.

Several years prior to the 2016 election, Obama had begun using the intelligence agencies to spy on his Republican opponents. This was a direct attack on the most fundamental institution of our democracy – elections. It was a much more destructive interference in the electoral process than anything attempted by the Russians. The subsequent cynical attempts to frame Trump as a traitor and then to impeach him for concocted offenses is without precedent.

Because they were attacks on our democracy itself, Obamagate is the worst political crime committed against our country in its entire history.

Horowitz concludes by saying that “the culprits involved need to be exposed and prosecuted“.

Implied is the optimistic theory that if these traitors are punished to the fullest extent of the law, the nation will be spared such treasonous acts in the future.

It might be so. The chance is better than probable.

“People should be going to jail for this stuff,” the president said.

But what is not probable is that Barack Obama and Joe Biden will be prosecuted.

Attorney General William Barr has already announced that they would not even be investigated. “Our concern over potential criminality is focused on others.” he said.

His reason? Joe Biden (senile though he is), looks to be the Democrats’ candidate for the presidency and –

Mr. Barr said it was important the American public would be able to vote in November for a presidential candidate “based on a robust debate of policy issues”.

Although he also reiterated that “Mr. Trump was the victim of a years long ‘utterly false Russian collusion narrative’ and that standards at the Justice Department were abused to reach a particular result”, and declared, “We can’t allow this to ever happen again,” nevertheless in his opinion the process of democracy transcends the requirement of justice.

We cannot allow this process to be hijacked by efforts to drum up criminal investigations of either candidate. I am committed that this election will be conducted without this kind of interference.

But does the process of democracy transcend the requirement of justice?

Was it not the very process of democracy that was subverted by the actions of the traitors – their attempts, which the Attorney General acknowledges, to overturn the result of an election?

If justice cannot reach them, what will that process ever be worth again?

Adam Schiff: a man of Soros 1

Is there a nastier person in America than Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif)?

He’s a lackey of George Soros, the world’s top enemy of civilization.

He supports jihadi organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic relations (CAIR).

He pursues Donald Trump with all the ardor of a Captain Ahab pursuing Moby Dick.

His low, mean, petty malice can be matched, perhaps, but it is difficult to imagine it being surpassed.

Well yes, he can be matched in those qualities. Just a few names off the top of the head: Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Jerry Nadler, James Comey, James Clapper, John Brennan, Christina Blasey Ford are all candidates for equal repugnance and contempt. But Schiff is surely the first among his equals.

Charles Hurt writes at Breitbart:

Adam Schiff … for more than three years now has lied to gullible reporters about his spectacular fantasies of Mr. Trump in a Moscow hotel room with hookers.

This is the same ridiculous nutjob who for years now has been lying to American voters about how he has secret evidence that he cannot share proving that Mr. Trump “colluded” with Russian President Vladimir Putin to “steal” the 2016 election.

Secret “evidence”, it turned out, that all came from the Kremlin.

This is the same desperate, dishonest charlatan who — after his Russian fantasy went up in smoke — turned his imagination to Ukraine and began spinning new fantasies about Mr. Trump conspiring with the president of Ukraine to make Joe Biden look bad — as if Joe Biden needs any help looking bad.

And, yes, this is the same Adam Schiff who colluded with phone callers he believed to be actual Ukrainians in order to obtain naked pictures of Mr. Trump. (Sickos like this you really cannot make up.)

Now Mr. Schiff and his fellow Democrats have seized on something that at least did actually happen. The Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.

This virus is as deadly real as these people are ridiculously unserious.

Mr. Schiff and his band of twittering impeachment fairies have decided to turn the awesome powers of the legislative branch of the federal government into yet another weapon against Mr. Trump. This time, they want to use all their constitutional powers to accuse the president of somehow playing dumb to allow the coronavirus to spread as far and wide as possible so as to infect and kill as many Americans as possible.

Again, to what end? To help Russia? To prop up his only personal financial interests in the wild-bat trade?

Anyway, this latest fever dream is downright comical, given the fact that it was Mr. Schiff and his twittering impeachment fairies who were fully engaged with impeaching Mr. Trump while the pandemic was brewing and first jumped from China to America.

Mr. Trump can point to actual decisions he made at that time to combat the pandemic while Mr. Schiff and his dollhouse friends can point to nothing other than their failed impeachment charade in Congress — as the pandemic marched across the globe.

That’s not to say that Mr. Schiff’s latest delusions are not terrifying. They are. Because we now know the dark depths of depravity Mr. Schiff and the anti-Trump crusaders in Washington will resort to in pursuit of Mr. Trump. They will stop at nothing and there is no apparatus of the federal government they won’t try to use in their zealous pursuit.

Who voted for Schiff? What sort of person? There are people, quite a lot of them, who thought – or felt  – that this useless being full of spite would represent them well in Congress, and voted him into the House of Representatives no fewer than 10 times! That’s a strange thing to contemplate. Hard to explain.

Posted under Commentary, Subversion, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, April 17, 2020

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The greatest scandal in American history 8

A multitude of crimes have been committed by people who were entrusted with the high responsibility of leading and protecting the nation.

How will history judge them? Which is to say, how will historians judge them?

One excellent historian, Victor Davis Hanson, is already judging them.

Writing  at American Greatness, he lists the evils done. We compile our list from his, mostly in his words:

A systematic and terrible assault was made on our constitutional freedoms.

A group of smug and mediocre apparatchiks assumed they had the moral right to destroy a presidential candidate and later an elected president.

A series of progressive-government-media driven melodramas was aimed at both injuring the Trump presidency and shielding a virtual coup to destroy an elected president.

The FBI and the Justice Department deliberately misled Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judges to spy on an American citizen as a way to monitor others in the Trump campaign.

Samantha Power and Susan Rice requested the unmasking of scores of Americans, and the names of some of them were were illegally leaked to the media with the intent of defaming them.

James Comey’s cronies at the FBI, including the disgraced Peter Strzok and Lisa Pagepost facto announced that the leaked Comey versions of his one-on-one talks with the president of the United States were merely confidential rather than top secret and thus their dissemination to the media was not quite felonious – which is why Comey is not in jail.

Comey’s leaking gambit led to the appointment of his long-time friend, former FBI Director Robert Mueller. Mueller then delighted the media by appointing mostly progressive activist lawyers, some with ties to Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, in what then giddy journalists called a “dream team” of “all-stars” who in the fashion of a “hunter-killer” team would abort the Trump presidency by proving Trump was what former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on television called a “Putin asset”.

The Mueller investigation—500 subpoenas, 22 months, $35 million—was one of the great travesties in American investigatory history. It was cooked up by fired, disgraced—and furious—former FBI Director James Comey. By his own admission, Comey conceded that he leaked confidential memos of private conversations he had with the president to create a large enough media and political storm to force the naming of a special prosecutor to investigate “Russian collusion”.

The libel of Russian collusion was absurd from the get-go.

In surreal fashion, the main players, under suspicion for seeding and peddling the fraudulent Steele dossier among the high echelons of the U.S. government and using such smears to cripple Trump—John Brennan, James Clapper, and Andrew McCabe—were hired by liberal CNN and MSNBC as paid analysts to fob off on others the very scandals that they themselves had created.

Eric Clinesmith, another FBI lawyer, altered an email presented as evidence before a FISA court to warp the request to surveil Carter Page. If there is any justice left in this sordid mess, he will end up in jail.

When Adam Schiff’s pernicious role in jump-starting the impeachment is finally fully known, he will likely be revealed as the prime schemer, along with minor Obama officials buried within the Trump National Security Council, dreaming up the entire Ukraine caper of the “whistleblower” (during which caper he and Representative Gerald Nadler and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi behaved in a manner that was childish, peevish, and absurd).  

The hatching of the intricate plots, the systematic abuses against Candidate Trump and then President Trump, Hanson calls skullduggery. Which is what it was and what it continues to be. He says that for four years the skulduggery kept a series of melodramas going which shielded a virtual coup to destroy an elected president.

Hanson’s verdict on the whole long-drawn-out episode of crime, corruption, and treachery:

It is the greatest scandal in American history.

How will  the conspirators – the arrogant civil servants, the dirty cops, the media connivers, the politicians – be judged? Will they ever be made to answer for what they did?  Is there “any justice left in this sordid mess”? 

If they were brought to trial, what would their just punishment be?   

What would be the just punishment for the two people behind it all, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama?

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.

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