President Trump bluntly said that he would want to hear from foreign agencies if they contacted him with information about political opponents. A piece from Fox News reported on this and the predictable reaction from the political left in the US. In the light of Russiagate, this statement riled up the Democrats to their latest frenzy and calls for impeachment were strengthened by some of the people in this increasingly strange political party.
It’s time for Congress to begin impeachment hearings. https://t.co/yYG6oqHfCm
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) June 12, 2019
Except for the fact that President Trump is onto something.
Shoddy intelligence has been the bane of American foreign policy. Since at least as far back as General Colin Powell’s hour-long exposé of the expected weapons of mass destruction in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, we have been treated by a conflicting set of ideas about American intelligence-gathering services:
- They are the finest in the world
- They are the worst in the world
We saw this as the Second Iraq War wound on and on with no major finds of WMD’s save a cache of some five hundred old sarin canisters that even the US military sources noted were not what was being sought. There were no WMD’s found, and the rhetoric pivoted to the notion that they had been secreted outside of Iraq in places like Syria, where the US could not go at that time. However, US troops there now still have never given a report of these devices.
We saw it in President Obama’s stunningly lousy Middle East tour, called the “apology tour” by critics, as Mr. Obama thought that the Middle Eastern nations that did not like the US much would like us better if we said we were sorry for what we did before.
It did not work.
In 2016’s presidential election, though, the above bullet points got a couple new additions:
- The US intel agencies are non-political and non-partisan
- The US intel agencies were co-opted by political operatives to “manage” an election, though they did so unsuccessfully.
And now, we have President Trump saying that he would listen to information from a foreign source about a political opponent. Yet, because American intel agencies are American, and by at least some definitions, the best in the world, the President is apparently expected by his opponents to swear utter and complete fealty to only home-grown intel agencies.
This is a ludicrous idea, given that those agencies cooperated with political forces, to create and to try to support opposition research that was spun into a set of completely false narratives about Donald Trump: sexist, racist, treasonous, colluded with Russia, and so on. We all know these narratives – they are still being repeated like a mantra being said over and over by all-but-hopeless yogis wishing desperately for the sun to rise in the west and set in the east.
Given the wildly unreliable state and recent malleability of the top American crime investigation and foreign intelligence agencies, it would seem that the President is getting wise to this matter, enough to realize perhaps that the Swamp is everywhere in D.C., and therefore, to trust only D.C. sources is, unfortunately, rather foolish.
Now, with all this in mind, consider President Trump’s response as shown in the first part of this video:
Fox reported it this way:
Trump made the admission during an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, adding that he would not necessarily contact the FBI if such an approach was made. Video from the interview went public Wednesday evening.
“I think I’d want to hear it… I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening,” he said.
“If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘we have information on your opponent’ — oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”
The president continued in the interview: “Somebody comes up and says, ‘hey, I have information on your opponent,’ do you call the FBI?
“I’ll tell you what, I’ve seen a lot of things over my life. I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI. In my whole life. You don’t call the FBI. You throw somebody out of your office, you do whatever you do.”
When pressed on the issue by Stephanopoulos, Trump responded: “Oh, give me a break — life doesn’t work that way.”
The effort by the American MSM is to try to keep the “reputation” of the American agencies pristine, when it is is overwhelmingly evident that this is in doubt. That doubt is presently held by both political parties in the United States: The Democrats doubt it because Robert Mueller, armed with a team of pro-Clinton investigators, nonetheless failed to deliver a “collusion / conspiracy” verdict against Mr. Trump. The Republicans doubt it because the whole basis of the same investigation is known to be based on a piece of political opposition research that got itself treated the same way as foreign intelligence would be.
Of course, RussiaGate is the tip of a very big iceberg. Many of us already know this and have certainly been saying so for decades. But this particular outcropping is most inconvenient for the political power establishment in the US and the West. Its exposure is greatly needed, but at the same time, the desire to hide it is extremely strong, because it supports a very precariously-built house of cards.
What no one on the “establishment” side is willing to accept is that the inevitability of the collapse of that house of cards is certain. The President is the first person in a very long time in American politics to refuse to play the game, and his ability to attack it and expose it succeeds because the President’s comments and observations, while often flamboyantly stated, are nonetheless based in reality. It is very difficult to fight reality, especially when the lie no longer works.
Many conservative Americans have been taken in by their “side” of the establishment narrative (lie) about our intelligence agencies and the FBI. Here, there is a challenge. We have been taught for decades that we are the best. And it was the truth for a long time. But it is not the truth now. The only way to get it to once again be the truth is to expose and demolish the old structure, fearlessly. Conservatives can be heartened by at least knowing that the forces who are now investigating things are on the side of truth much more than politics.
Still, it has been and is going to be, quite a ride.