I am certainly no stranger to the far end of a limb, but this time, I am really out there. I watched the Mueller hearings and despaired.
I saw the Original Sin of Trump–Russia—that “Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC),” shaped by time and “messaging” into “Russian interference in 2016 on behalf of Donald Trump”—enter the record, accepted and even regurgitated by the GOP.
But Robert Mueller gave a foggy performance! He never even read his own report! Impeachment is dead! The response by the estimable Mollie Hemingway typifies conservative satisfaction.
Man, what a day. What a really fun day.
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) July 25, 2019
I rubbed my eyes, tried to smile, but it didn’t work. I still felt snookered and betrayed by Republicans who inexplicably failed to take the kill shot and win a victory for the country by exposing the whole rotten Deep State conspiracy—enabled and amplified by the mainstream media—to concoct a tale of a massive Russian cyber-strike on our democracy supposedly designed to prevent Hillary Clinton from being elected.
This Big Lie has not only delegitimized Trump’s presidency now and forever, it simultaneously aligns Trump supporters—American patriots—with our adversaries in the Kremlin. Believe me, this will come back and haunt us all when Schiff, Tlaib, Brennan, and the rest of their ilk get real power.
Why did no Republican want to pull the pin on Russian hacking? I went back to a June 2017 op-ed I wrote by the same name: “Pulling the Pin on Russian Hacking.” Change the names around and it could run this morning:
“About those Comey hearings.
“Not one U.S. senator asked former FBI Director James Comey to account for the sinister fact that the source of the explosive determination that ‘Russia hacked the DNC’ computer system is a DNC contractor, not the FBI.
“Not one U.S. senator asked why Comey’s FBI deferred to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s DNC when the DNC refused to permit FBI forensics specialists to examine the DNC computer system; or why the FBI was never able to examine John Podesta’s personal devices, either. Not one member of the Senate Intelligence Committee inquired as to why the DNC servers have not, after all of this time, ever been re-examined by the FBI; or whether it is just possible that this same DNC contractor putting forward the DNC/Russian hacking charge might have destroyed the DNC computer system.
“The scene of the crime.
“As mysterious and sensational as these unanswered questions are, so, too, are the reasons they have not been asked.”
Two long years later, these seminal questions were not asked of former special counsel Mueller, either. No, We the People are expected to accept without question, without evidence, that “Russia hacked the DNC”—or, rather, that “the Russians systematically and sweepingly interfered in the election”—because Crowdstrike, a DNC contractor with a spotty record, co-founded by a Mueller protégé named Shawn Henry, said so. The FBI never even reviewed Crowdstrike’s final report, having received only a redacted, draft version.
The whole set-up was surreal—but not as surreal as the failure of Republicans to expose it during the Mueller hearings.
As we well and wearily know, the finding of Russian hacking has had serious political and national security implications—but not serious enough for any government agency to verify it, and not serious enough for Republicans to question it. According to Crowdstrike—again, not according to any government or independent investigation—Russia “hacked” the DNC, and, the story goes, gave the “stolen” emails to WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, thus “interfering” with the 2016 election of Donald Trump.
Oh, but Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks is “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.” Former CIA Director/Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said so!
Yes, but Pompeo made this statement also without legitimate evidence. New to the CIA directorship, he was relying on the so-called Intelligence Community Assessment of January 2017, fobbed off on the American people by anti-Trump co-conspirators James Clapper, John Brennan, and James Comey.
Poor Pompeo just didn’t have a clue, stating, “In January of this year, our Intelligence Community determined that Russian military intelligence—the GRU—had used WikiLeaks to release data of U.S. victims that the GRU had obtained through cyber operations against the Democratic National Committee.”
The fact is, this “intelligence community” assessment, too, is based on DNC junk—almost certainly the Crowdstrike report and the discredited Steele dossier. No wonder deep inside the assessment appears this disclaimer: “Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents. … High confidence in a judgment does not imply that the assessment is a fact or a certainty; such judgments might be wrong.”
Nice CYA, but these same judgments that might be wrong have set the course of U.S. politics and history as the new gospel that must not be questioned. Why ever not?
Why didn’t Republicans ask why the former special counsel didn’t examine the DNC server? Why didn’t he interview the single most important witness to “Russian interference”—Julian Assange? Why didn’t he investigate the murder of DNC official Seth Rich, whom Assange has strongly implied was a WikiLeaks source? Why didn’t he investigate the forensics evidence developed by a team of intelligence professionals led by former NSA Technical Director William Binney that demonstrates there was no DNC “hack”?
Because it would blow the Big Lie of Russian interference on Trump’s behalf sky-high?
Maybe this isn’t the moment to ask whether anyone else feels snookered, not while Trump supporters are still crowing about Mueller’s foggy, feeble performance and the apparent end of the Democrats’ impeachment dreams (which, by the way, surely would have helped reelect Trump). When all of that wears thin, however, I am afraid our humiliation will have gained Mt. Rushmore-solidity as “court history,” accepted without evidence, bowed to without question: Russia interfered in 2016 to help Donald Trump.
Just wait till 2020.
This column was originally published in The Epoch Times.
The views expressed in guest columns are not necessarily the views or positions of the CCNS or its members.