“I love WikiLeaks. Here is another email about Hillary Clinton. I can’t wait for more information from WikiLeaks. I love WikiLeaks.”
That was our beloved leader on the campaign trail. He couldn’t wait for the next “illegal” leak from an organization that breaks the law all over the world. It is illegal to hack into emails and/or any other cyber systems and WikiLeaks is an organization who does exactly that.
But, a funny thing happened on the way to the Forum. Our beloved leader discovered that leaks can hurt you. He discovered that leaks can actually make a leader act reasonably. And, that is beyond the pale for trump.
Our beloved leader has attacked our intelligence agencies because they said they have proof that Russia was behind the hacks during the campaign. The thing he really hates is that they say Russia hacked our election process in an attempt to sway the election to him.
FALSE – LIES – FAKE NEWS! That was our beloved leader’s response to this announcement. He even went so far as to blame some unnamed “400 lb. guy sitting on a bed in his mother’s basement”. He attacked the intelligence community comparing it to Nazi Germany.
Then, within days of the inauguration, the acting head of the Justice Department told the White House Counsel that the new National Security Advisor had made an improper telephone call to the Russian Ambassador, lied about the call to the Vice President, and was “subject to blackmail from Russia” as a result of his actions.
Three weeks later, Flynn was still on the job. Only, one night, the press reported on this “story”. Then the shit hit the fan. On Monday night Flynn resigned. Then, the next day, trump’s White House went into spin mode.
The Minister of Propaganda, Sean Spicer said that there was an internal investigation at the White House and the White House Counsel did not find anything illegal about the call. However Spicer said that the “president asked for Mr. Flynn’s resignation because of an erosion of trust over this matter and other issues.”
Of course the media let that “other issues” fly by without swatting it and asking what other issues. So, as usual, trump’s team got away with another one. Since then, there have been lots of calls for an independent special investigation into Flynn’s actions and the other part of the report that trump campaign aides had “constant contact with Russian intelligence officials during the campaign”.
The Senate Intelligence Committee is going to look into the matter. They don’t seem to be worried about the consequences and are only interested in the truth, “wherever it leads”. Good for the them. Only, I hope they don’t keep the whole thing secret so we don’t know what actually happened. Which is why it is so important to have an independent investigation.
However on the House side we keep hearing nothing but silence. They seem very willing to just roll over and let trump do whatever he wants. They don’t think this has anything to do with protecting our national security or our country.
Then yesterday, during a press conference with Benjamin Netanyahu standing next to him he said:
Michael Flynn ― General Flynn ― is a wonderful man. I think he’s been treated very, very unfairly by the media, as I call it, the fake media in many cases. And I think it’s really a sad thing that he was treated so badly. I think in addition to that from intelligence, papers are being leaked, things are being leaked, it’s criminal action. It’s a criminal act and it’s been going on for a long time before me but now it’s really going on. People are trying to cover up for a terrible loss that the Democrats had under Hillary Clinton. I think it’s very, very unfair what’s happened to General Flynn, the way he was treated and the documents and papers that were illegally ― I stress that, illegally leaked. Very, very unfair.
So, as you can see, the real problem isn’t that Flynn did something wrong enough for trump to personally ask for his resignation, it is all the fault of the intelligence community and the press.
Hell, Rush Limbaugh the other day even tried to blame President Barak Obama. It is always the Democrats fault when Republicans break the law and get themselves in trouble.
As a result of this horrible treatment of Flynn, trump is determined to “get to the bottom of all of these leaks”. He started tweeting, not about the Russia scandal, but against the people who brought it to light.
In one tweet he said: “Leaking, and even illegal classified leaking, has been a big problem in Washington for years. Failing @nytimes (and others) must apologize!”
In another he tweeted: “The spotlight has finally been put on the low-life leakers! They will be caught!”
Falling right in line with their beloved leader, Jason Chaffetz and Bob Goldblatte sent a letter to the Inspector General at the Justice Department demanding an investigation into the – leaks.
It seems probable that the fact that an intelligence agency monitored the call, if it did, as well as any recording of the call, would be classified. We have serious concerns about the potential inadequate protection of classified information here.
Finally, trump seems ready, according to reports, to investigate and “review” the intelligence community. And, just to show just how serious he is about getting to the bottom of these leaks, he is willing to appoint a “real professional” to do this investigation and review of the intelligence services.
He decided that the best candidate is none other than Stephen Feinberg. His credentials to run such an investigation and review? He is a private equity executive and close ally of our beloved leader. Needless to say, this has all the earmarks of a political purge of the intelligence community.
Of course that would be step three in dismantling our democracy. Get the intelligence community to only agree with your worldview and keep them in line so you can control information and make the citizens too dependent upon your propaganda.
Of course we have seen this kind of behavior before. We saw it with Richard Nixon. People forget that the people who got caught breaking into the Democratic offices in the Watergate were called the “plumbers”. Their original goal was to “plug all of the leaks coming out of the White House and other agencies”. Remember where that got us?
As our adversaries are testing us, like North Korea, Iran and of course Russia, our beloved leader is way too busy trying to consolidate his power over us than dealing with real threats. He overlooks things of importance and instead fixates on trivial matters that are of his own making.
There have been leaks in our government for as long as we have had a government. That is almost unavoidable. The only thing I watch for is if any real “classified” information is released to the public. That would be illegal and the leaker should be punished.
But, having someone in your administration break the law and be exposed for it is not the same. If the trump administration wasn’t so secretive, and more transparent, leaks wouldn’t matter that much. As a matter of fact, leaks wouldn’t even exist. But when you wrap yourself in secrecy and expect no one to notice what you are doing, leaks are inevitable.
During the campaign, trump “loved” leaks. As long as they only happened to Clinton. Now that he is in charge and operating like a dictator, he hates leaks and calls them “illegal”. Dictators always use double standards. If something helps them, great. If the same something hurts them “get the bastards”.
We don’t know just how deep the new “plumbers” will go. We don’t know just how much they are going to politically purge our intelligence agencies. We only know that trump had declared war on our intelligence communities and he seems surprised that they aren’t going down without a fight.
The New York Times and the Washington Post seem to be emerging as the “police” on trump’s actions. That is what an independent press is supposed to do. They are supposed to investigate and report their findings to the American People. I say – keep up the good work.
Let us be clear about one thing. Flynn was apparently caught trying to undermine our government’s policies before he took office. He was apparently caught trying to appease the Russians by telling them that things would get better and the sanctions would be removed after trump took office. He apparently lied about the phone calls even to the Vice President Elect. Then Pence took to the airways to tell the American the lies that Flynn told him. Then the White House was informed just days after the inauguration about the lies. It took trump three weeks to ask for Flynn’s resignation, all the while keeping the information from his Vice President.
The American People were told by the administration that Flynn was fired because of an “erosion of trust’ between him and the president. Now, that very president who claimed he couldn’t “trust” Flynn is blaming the press and leaks for a “political assassination” of Flynn whom he called “a great guy”, the same person just a couple of days ago the president said was “untrustworthy”.
Either Flynn became so untrustworthy that he could no longer work in his position of trust, or he was a victim. You cannot have it both ways. Besides, please explain to me how if what he did was not “wrong” or “illegal” did he feel the need to lie about it.
The answer to this is real simple. This isn’t about Flynn or anything else. This is all about trump and his ego. By hiring an untrustworthy person, it casts doubts about his “great leadership”.
We have heard over and over about how this was such a hard thing for trump to do. Asking for Flynn’s resignation because of his loyalty to those who work or support him. That is bullshit. If someone around him casts a bad light on trump, they are gone. It is that simple. He will hold off if he thinks it will die down, but he is very willing to throw someone to the dogs to save himself and his ego.
Then, after the scapegoat has been sent out-of-town, he will launch into a tirade on those that exposed his incompetence and the incompetence of those around him.
We have a president who has lived his life based on causing severe distress on others. He has been richly rewarded rather than being punished over his grandiosity, self-absorption and lack of empathy. Those are not good traits to have when you are supposed to be the leader of the free world.
Only time will tell if “The Plumbers II” will be successful or if it will end in disaster like the prequel did for Nixon. We can only hope that if it ends in disaster it will not bring down the American People, too.
And, the shirts keep marching along.