Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Last month I warned that Trump was "Briar-patching" the Democrats in government and especially the Liberal media: teasing them into believing their own favorite fantasies and making ever more outrageous claims, until the undeniable facts show them up as idiots -- in public. I mentioned that, given the downright hysterical claims of the Liberal media, Trump was doing quite a good job of it. Well, given the claims of the media today, they're Briar-patching themselves marvelously with no further assistance.
First, there's the firing of FBI Director Comey, at a time when the FBI (along with a few other federal agencies) has been investigating connections between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government. Of course the Dems/media make the obvious conclusion: Trump fired Comey to stop the FBI's investigation! Of course! There couldn't possibly be any other explanation, could there?
Well... Comey -- following the tradition founded by J. Edgar Hoover himself -- was always much more a politician than a policeman. Trump called him a "showboater...a grandstander", and (it takes one to know one), as more than a few ex-FBI employees claimed, he wasn't wrong. Another old FBI tradition is that the agency protects and supports Democrat administrations, much as the CIA does for Republican ones, and Comey had been a faithful lapdog to Obama and Hillary over the years of his tenure. On his orders, FBI personnel avoided using the term "Islamic terrorism", the FBI hired spokesmen from CAIR as advisers rather than investigate the organization, and made a priority out of collecting and investigating reported "hate crimes" against Muslims. When Hillary's election committee received surprisingly large donations from the government of China, the media soon dropped the story and the FBI declined to investigate. These would have been reason enough for any Republican president to replace Comey.
The icing on the cake was Comey's handling of the Hillary Unsecured E-mail case. When Congressional pressure demanded an inquiry into Hillary's misuse of the email account, the Democrats and media turned on Comey and demanded that he be fired. What Comey did was call a press conference on July 5, 2016 during which, according to at least three FBI Assistant Directors -- James Kallstrom, Bill Gavin, and Ron Hosko -- Comey assumed the role of a prosecutor and recommended no charges be filed against Hillary. This put him back in the Derms/media's good graces again, he thought. Kallstrom claims that the investigation itself was a sham, and this action "threw the reputation of the FBI under a bus. That's what I'm very mad about". Gavin agreed that Comey's firing was "something that had to happen", that "when he made a prosecutive opinion in an investigative matter, he made a mistake." The FBI, being part of the Department of Justice, has to be very meticulous about such things. Hosko agreed that "that is, reasonable minds can agree, the province of the prosecutor." The move may have seemed like good politics, but it was bad law and made Comey's firing inevitable, no matter who was president. In the end, it wasn't even good politics; Democrats blamed the investigation, and it's "tarnishing" of Hillary's image, for sabotaging her campaign and costing her the election -- and again started howling for Comey's resignation.
The only real question about Comey's dismissal was when and how it would be done, and Trump's method was guaranteed to Briar-Patch the media. Note how readily he agreed to that TV interview about it, and especially note exactly what he said. After Trump gave technically accurate but vague explanations for the firing, the anchorman asked if he hadn't worried about "how it would look" that he fired Comey in the middle of the "Russia investigation" -- and Trump replied that he "thought about it", but then remembered that the supposed scandal was "a fantasy, a made-up story", and blithely went ahead with dismissing Comey -- leaving him find out about it on the TV news. Right after that interview was aired, no less than Rachel Maddow (usually a quick and intelligent woman) claimed that Trump had "admitted" that he fired Comey to stop the investigation -- when in fact he said no such words, and the taped interview shows it. This is an example of the hysterical lengths the Dems/Liberal media will go in pursuit of their own fantasy.
Then, merrily adding fuel to the fire, Trump invited the Russian ambassador and foreign minister, and even the head of the Russian news agency, to a private meeting in the Oval Office -- from which the US news media were firmly barred. The reaction of the media remarkably resembled a jealous tantrum thrown by bratty children who haven't been invited to a swanky party. First they howled that Trump had no right to hold a "secret meeting" with agents of a foreign government, until embarrassed legal experts pointed out that, a) far from "secret", the meeting was announced by the White House staff, and b) the President of the US has not only the right but the duty to meet and talk with agents of foreign governments -- in fact, that's a big part of his job. Next, the news-hounds claimed, with no facts whatever, that Trump was "giving highly classified material" to the Russians -- until, again, legal experts informed them that the POTUS also has the right to decide what "classified material" he deems fit to give to foreign governments. Perfectly legitimate White House staffers reported that what Trump had discussed with the Russians were matters of mutual concern in the middle-east, specifically dealing with ISIL, and the media went into an orgy of speculation.
Finally, a few days later, an outraged Washington Post claimed that Trump actually had revealed "highly classified information" to the Russians -- details about an ISIL terrorist plot involving the use of laptop computers on aircraft, among other things. Obviously, Russia was one of the intended victims of this plot, and the information would be very useful to Russia's security. Of course Trump asked for some favor in return, and the most likely guess is that he got the pledge of more help in destroying the whole Jihadist movement, something that the Russian government would be quite willing to do, if it could. Why should the Dem/Liberal media crowd be upset by this? Well, according to the Post, "Trump's disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State", information provided by "a US partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the US government, *officials said.* (emphasis mine). The partner had not given the US permission to share the material with Russia, and *officials said* Trump's decision to do so endangers cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. After Trump's meeting, *senior White House officials took steps to control the damage,* placing calls to the CIA and the NSA."
Really? Just where did the Washington Post claim to have gotten this information? From unnamed "current and former US officials", the Post said. Uhuh.
Now, supposing the Post story is true, just which "US partner" would fit the description? The only possible candidates are Turkey, which is becoming less of an ally every minute, and one-third of the government of Pakistan, which was never an ally in the first place. To be blunt, the only valuable assistance we can expect, or have gotten, from either of those is bought for money and unreliable. You can be sure that our "intelligence community" verified this information from other sources before trusting it enough to use for a bargaining chip with the Russians. That means there are other information sources in place which our spies could use for that verification, and those are still there. The US didn't lose anything of value by giving the Russians information which could save them from some nasty Jihadist attacks.
And is the story true, after all? H. R. McMaster, the White House national security adviser who was actually present at the meeting, claimed that "At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly", but the media have largely ignored him.
The Post appears to have gotten a real scoop on this story, for everyone else reporting the tale quotes it, in a wonderful display of blind faith. Other assorted Liberal Dems are having a field day with the story, crying for appointment of a "special prosecutor" to investigate the "Trump-Russia Connection", already chortling about impeachment, and a group of psychologists are happily labelling Trump a sociopath, psychopath, and everything-else-opath that they can think of, ignoring the fact that the usual label for a doctor who diagnoses a patient he's never met is "sued". Only a few cooler heads have urged caution, such as the famed Alan Dershowitz and Jonathan Turley, who noted that Trump should appoint as new FBI director "someone absolutely above reproach" and "support a special investigative commission, not an independent prosecutor, because I don't think we have any probable cause, yet, that crimes have been committed."
Could it be that this is exactly what Trump wants to do, because a special investigative committee would reveal that he's innocent, and his accusers are biased, hysterical liars and idiots? Could it be that this particular tease has revealed leaks and hostile members of the White House staff, whom Trump can now happily fire? Could this be the cliff that he's hoping to stampede the Dems/Liberal media over? It's the sort of plot that Trump's smart Jewish son-in-law could have thought up.
Be careful of that briar-patch!