Most of It Isn’t a Hole

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As Yogi Berra once purportedly said, “You can observe a lot by just watching.”

I have been most interested in watching how the Russian-election-hacking story played out, linked, as it has now been, to the president’s spectacular accusation against the former president this last weekend. The president said that Obama had ordered Trump Tower be wiretapped during the campaign, ten times worse than Watergate, with perfidy hotter than the heat of a thousand suns. Something like that.

If you want to read a detailed and intelligent breakdown of what just happened, there is a good one here.

So what can we observe out here in the hinterlands, just by watching? I refer to those of us who do not have access to all the files that are sitting around in various places in Washington, just waiting for Trump to request them. By the way, a bunch of those file cabinets have to be placed in special grease trays so that there is always a little something there at the bottom that can be scooped  up and given to The Washington Post.

We have been watching people demand investigations, special counsels, etc. because Russians!, and these allegations must be taken seriously, despite the fact that we have no evidence for them currently. That is why we need an investigation, people. We need to turn up some evidence. Then the president sends out his infamous tweet, and everyone is aghast. Where’s the evidence? He did this with no evidence! Then he asked Congress to investigate, look into this, wouldja? We need an investigation to turn up some evidence.

Look. The whole case against Trump re: the Russians depended on there being something that could be at least used as evidence somewhere. The FBI had to have been busy investigating Trump cronies, and there were no doubt wiretaps, and intercepts, and all that stuff you see in the movies. And Trump just got all them to say, in loud voices, that none of them had been anywhere near Trump Tower. Oh? Where was all the Russian talk coming from then?

On top of that, when Trump made his accusation, the Obama folks released a statement, exquisite in its archness, denying any wrongdoing. But the denial was written by some lawyer, treating his subject the way a donkey would eat a thistle. Carefully, carefully, parse it some more. That thing was written so carefully as to amount to a full confession.

In other words, they were surveilling a presidential candidate—very confident of a Clinton win, and even more confident in Clinton’s expertise in covering-up—and Trump just juked them into lying about it. But you can observe a lot by just watching. The whole run up to this episode was dependent upon intelligence agencies leaking information to the press about the activities of a private citizen. That is why we were even talking about it at all. That is a public fact, acknowledged by all.

In other words, as I have written before, the security apparatus of the surveillance state has been politicized, and is now aimed at domestic politics, banana-republic-style, and there are many spooks who cannot be trusted with the information they have. Someone will comment that there are also many diligent patriots in the intelligence community who are not complicit in any of this. Right, I grant it. But that is like pointing to the bottom of a sinking ship with the observation that 70% of it isn’t a hole. Why this focus on the negative?

I expect the fighting over this to be fierce, if for no other reason than that some entrenched operatives in this are quite possibly going to jail otherwise.

One last comment. My “admiration” for Trump in this particular fight is limited to the recognition that he is clearly not stupid, he knows he is in a fight, and he acts like he is in a fight. His adversaries, along with the pundits on the sidelines, still think he is stupid. This helps keep the entertainment value high.

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Dan Phillips
Dan Phillips
5 years ago

“…he is clearly not stupid, he knows he is in a fight, and he acts like he is in a fight.”

In these ways, also, he distinguishes himself from most of his Republican predecessors, at least of recent memory.

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
5 years ago

> That thing was written so carefully as to amount to a full confession.

Brilliant observation!

Bro. Steve
Bro. Steve
5 years ago

Meanwhile, back at Drudge, there’s another Snowden running amok somewhere, and he’s dumping on the CIA (again). Clearly, the peristalsis in the bowels of the Deep State isn’t all in the same direction. There are still some people resisting. We have no idea what their motives are, only that they’re not all part of the same leftist Deep State Mafia.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago

Well, I knew Trump was going to take on the permanent government, but I never expected this. Somehow I doubt this was the last card he’s got up his sleeve. Seems likely he’s been sitting on this since November.

(On the topic of the former President, I present this without comment:comment image )

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

He’s walking to his motorcycle, right? ????

steghorn21
steghorn21
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I like to think that Trump is playing 3D chess against people still trying to master tic-tac-toe. Hope I’m right.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  steghorn21

I guess talking about fake wiretaps for the 12th day in a row while everyone on both sides of the aisles rebukes you distracts from getting your Muslim travel ban knocked down for the second time in a row, throwing a budget into the mix that virtually no one likes, and getting nowhere fast on the Obamacare replacement, infrastructure rehabilitation, or crime control.

What do you think the successes of the 3D chess have been, or will be?

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

“Muslim travel ban”

This is a misnomer, it’s a ban on muslim countries we can’t make money off of.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago

I’ve heard that claim and I’m not sure I fully buy it. I thought it had more to do with typical US diplomatic allegiances than with particular profits. The USA supports the government we’ve shepherded in in Afghanistan, the dictators in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the king in the UAE, and the messes in Lebanon and Pakistan, so Trump allows continued immigration from those countries even though THOSE are all the countries that past terrorists who successfully carried out deadly attacks in the USA have come from. The USA is at odds with the current governments of Iran, Syria, Libya,… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

“The USA is at odds with the current governments of Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Sudan…”

Ordinarily countries at odds with our country are the ones who’s citizens it might make sense to bar, but your point about the actual origins of terrorists in America is well taken.

I wonder, who decided which countries did and didn’t make the list anyway? Do Trump and Bannon actually make those kind of distinctions?

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  JohnM

It would be a bit nonsensical to take refugees from countries who we thought had good, friendly governance. Refugees tend to come from nations whose governments we either disagree with, or whose governments have lost control of their country. From my understanding, the list was basically devised by Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller, but that is based on a lot of reports that probably included some conjecture. I doubt that Trump came up with it, though they might have tailored the list to be acceptable to him. They also may have based the list on what other people would accept… Read more »

D
D
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

The trump administration used existing lists – likely to provide political cover, and because they don’t actually know anything about the middle east.

http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2017/feb/07/reince-priebus/were-7-nations-identified-donald-trumps-travel-ban/

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  D

Yeah, I believe that.

The same reasoning in place – “more to do with typical US diplomatic allegiances than with particular profits” – only it was the previous administrations making the distinction and Trump advisers just running with it.

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

“I thought it had more to do with typical US diplomatic allegiances than with particular profits.”

That’s probably true, though if the affected countries had more money they’d have more diplomatic sway.

lloyd
5 years ago

“exquisite in its archness”

Appreciated a recent David Harsanyi piece on the “donkey-said, elephant-said” calls for investigation.

“His adversaries, along with the pundits on the sidelines, still think he is stupid.” I saw a guy on Morning Joe this am talking about how the Trump White House is no match for any type of “crisis” that could come along. They do think he is stupid. I didnt think his predecessor was much for handling crises.

Eagle_Eyed
Eagle_Eyed
5 years ago

Andrew McCarthy’s piece is pro-click, but even he doesn’t seem to connect all the pieces or recognize Trump’s brilliance in all this. With one hastily written tweet, Trump has changed the discussion from accusations against himself and his cabinet to accusations against the Democrats. It’s not that the Democrat-media complex finds itself underneath an inescapable boulder of logic, it’s that the narrative is weakened in the collective consciousness of the American people. To put it simply, Obama is the one on the defense now. And, as luck would have it, today Wikileaks releases information about a massive hacking/spying program from… Read more »

steghorn21
steghorn21
5 years ago
Reply to  Eagle_Eyed

It’s almost uncanny. He tweets about Sweden, the Fascist Left goes for him, events in Sweden prove him correct.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  steghorn21

Which events are you referring to specifically?

Sean Carlson
Sean Carlson
5 years ago

I can foresee that Trump will be the headline news EVERY day for the next 4 yrs. Appears we will have as much “drama” in the Trump yrs as in the Clinton yrs.

bethyada
5 years ago

“Media and Democrat” was used 7 times in that linked article.

scttsmmns
scttsmmns
5 years ago

The democrats aren’t smart enough yet to realize that when they claimed there were transcripts of Flynn’s telephone conversations that they had just set themselves up for the kill :)))))))) The FBI is even worse. They claimed to have the transcripts and are now denying it. Most hilarious entertainment available and it’s for free.

Brinkerhoff
Brinkerhoff
5 years ago

Yes, either you’re right and Trump is an extraordinarily manipulative genius or there’s a far more obvious explanation.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago

Among other things, Pastor Wilson, your logic seems to be ignorant of the fact that there are certain differences between the White House and the Justice Department and/or FBI that prevent them from being equated. The people who think you just proved something logically appear ignorant of that as well.

That’s not the only thing you got wrong, there were at least eight. That’s just the starter.