Now at The Epoch Times
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 -- "Russia hacked the DNC," shaped by time and messaging into "Russian interference in 2016 on behalf on Donald Trump" -- enter the record, accepted and even regurgitated by the GOP.
But 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.
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 MSM, 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 Commissars Schiff, Tlaib, Brennan and the rest of the Party 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.
Two long years later, these seminal questions were not asked of Special Counsel Robert 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 protege 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. 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 “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 is also 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 judgements that might be wrong have set the course of American politics and history as the new gospel that must not be questioned. Why ever not?
Why didn't Republicans ask why the Special Counsel didn't examine the DNC server? Why he didn't interview the single most important witness to "Russian interference" -- Julian Assange? Why he didn't investigate the murder of DNC official Seth Rich, whom Assange has strongly implied was a Wikileaks source? Why he didn't investigate the forensics evidence developed by a team of intelligence professionals (VIPS) 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 President Trump's behalf sky high?
Maybe this is not 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, probably would have ensured Trump re-election). 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.