The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Wheels within Wheels

In what has to be one of the most impressive political manipulations in my lifetime, the Democrats (with extensive help from their trained hamsters in the media and their many supporters within the deep state), have promoted and nurtured a narrative that they think explains their shocking, upset loss in the 2016 presidential election—the Russians, the Russians, the Russians!!!! Add to that their success in getting a special counsel appointed to investigate "collusion" between Donald Trump and the Russians. Add to that the nonstop tsunami of media reports about indictments that have NOTHING to do with collusion. With all of that, the resultant counterfactual implication is that were it not for the Russians, a corrupt, dishonest politician named Hillary Clinton would now be President of the United States.

All of this came to a head in the aftermath of the Helsinki meeting between Donald Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton. As he often does, Trump made a hash of his post-summit comments, suggesting that he believed Putin's ridiculous suggestion that the Russians had nothing to do with the hacking of DNC servers or manipulation (although quite minor by any reasonable measure) of social media. Trump's words caused the usual hysteria from the Trump Derangement Syndrome crowd and even from more rational observers on the left and right. Trump's statement was dumb—both politically and factually.

The big question goes to motive and timing. Why did the Russians hack the DNC servers and why did the DoJ decide to release the indictments of 12 GRU operatives three days before the Trump-Putin summit? Both questions are worthy of consideration.

Even the most afflicted members of the TDS crowd would have to admit that Hillary Clinton was assumed by almost all (including yours truly) to be the slam-dunk winner of the presidential election. That assumption was adopted by the Russians as well. Given that, it seems reasonable to suggest that the Russians wanted to do what the Democrats have been trying to do for the past 20 months—delegitimize the presidency of a newly elected American president.

Michael B. Mukasey (former U.S. Attorney General) comments:
At the time of the hacking, virtually no one gave Mr. Trump any chance of winning. Mr. Putin is a thug, but he is not reckless. It seems unlikely he would place a high-stakes bet on a sure loser. Rather, he likely sought to embarrass the person certain to be the new president, assuring that she took office as damaged goods.

Why leave fingerprints? If the only goal was to inflict damage, the new president would have been not only damaged, but also resentful. Even the person who happily posed with a mislabeled “reset” button in frothier days likely would have turned sour.

The point likely was not merely to inflict damage but also to send a warning. Consider the Justice Department inspector general’s report on the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of an unauthorized and vulnerable email server. It found that the bureau had concluded the server could well have been penetrated without detection. Recall also that some of the people hacked by GRU agents were aware of that server and mentioned it in messages they sent, so that the Russians too were aware of it. The SVR certainly was capable of an undetected hack.

There are some 30,000 emails that Mrs. Clinton did not turn over, on the claim that they were personal and involved such trivia as yoga routines and Chelsea’s wedding. If they instead contained damaging information—say, regarding Clinton Foundation fundraising—the new president would have taken office in the shadow of a sword dangling from a string held by the Russians.
Makes sense to me! Gosh, you'd think some intrepid "reporter" at CNN or MSNBC or the NYT or WaPo or CBS or ... might pursue that line of reasoning. Nope. Runs counter to the narrative—can't be discussed.

As to the timing of the indictments, Mukasey writes :
The president was told of the indictments before he traveled. Yet the plain effect of the announcement was to raise further doubts about the wisdom of the meeting—and perhaps to shape its agenda. Neither is the business of the special counsel or anyone else at the Justice Department ...

From a law-enforcement standpoint, there was nothing urgent about these indictments. All 12 defendants are in Russia; none are likely ever to see the inside of a U.S. courtroom ...

It has been argued that the objective of last week’s indictments was not to prosecute the defendants but to “name and shame” them. They were named, and even their military intelligence units disclosed—but shamed?
I agree, but I also think there's more to it. The timing of the indictment was to make the meeting all about Russian interference in the election, and as a consequence, to further the Russians did it! narrative that explains HRC's loss. Yes, Russian interference is an important topic, but is it more important than: (1) nuclear proliferation and associated treaties between Russia and the USA, (2) half a million dead in Syria with another 2 million refugees swamping Europe, (3) the annexation of Crimea, (4) the threat to the Ukraine, (5) the future of oil and gas revenues to Russia, and many other topics? In a way, the Dems and their Deep state buddies turned the indictments into a "look, there's a squirrel!" moment. Media attention was all about the Russians and their interference in the election. Every else—nada.

In this continuing drama, there are wheels within wheels. The hysteria generated by Trump's stupid comments is just as fake as the spurious claims that the Russians were a primary reason for Hillary Clinton's loss in the 2016 election.