Concerned about recent revelations that the Justice Department/FBI were spying on the Trump campaign? Me, too, but never fear; the words of former CIA Director James Clapper will set your mind at ease:
“They may have had someone who was talking to them in the campaign, but, you know, the focus here, and as it was with the intelligence community, is not on the campaign per se, but what the Russians were doing to try to instantiate themselves in the campaign or to influence or leverage it. So if there was someone that was observing that sort of thing, that’s a good thing, because the Russians posed a threat to the very basis of our political system.”
Got that?? He said it on CNN; I wouldn’t have seen it if Tucker Carlson hadn’t replayed it and, understandably, had a cow. (Maybe, like me, you had to run it back and play it again to make sure you heard it right.) He calls the spy story “hyperbole,” at the same time acknowledging the Trump campaign was indeed spied on. But, gosh, he gives us a really good reason for doing it. To paraphrase: “it’s GOOD thing when the government spies on Americans, even its political opponents, if it means we might catch us some Ruskies!” Shades of Joe McCarthy. And this defense of the indefensible is coming from the person who used to head our CIA.
I’d like to stand eye-to-eye with him and say, “Mr. Clapper, the real threat to the very basis of our political system is posed by YOU and any others like you in our intelligence community, if you think that a government spying on its political opponents is ever a good thing.” Good lord, if Russia has indeed influenced our political system, Clapper himself is Exhibit A. The tactics he defends are right out of the KGB.
If “Russia” had been the main concern of Brennan, Clapper, Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page and the rest of that sorry lot, they could have simply opened a counterintelligence investigation into Kremlin-based activities. Perhaps those same 13 indictments based on an insignificant number of “Russian” Facebook ads, etc., would have resulted; never mind that at least one of the companies indicted didn’t even exist at the time it was supposed to have “meddled.” And if Paul Manafort or some other Trump campaign official had been actively “colluding” with Vladimir Putin to win the election, such an investigation into Russia should have turned that up.
Obviously, “Russia” was a cover, not their main concern. If it had been, they would have been focused on Hillary’s campaign because of her questionable dealings with Russia when she was at the State Department, including likely pay-for-play on the Uranium One deal and Hillary’s ditching of 33,000 emails before any evidence of that (or any other crime) could be found. Did they have spies in her campaign? No? Why not, Mr. Clapper?
I think we know. This wasn’t really about Russia; it was about the “insurance policy.” But our FBI had no evidence of crime within the Trump campaign, so what else could they do but abuse their power by setting up a counterintelligence investigation to spy on Trump and turn up something, ANYTHING, on him? If a Republican administration had used its official power to infiltrate the campaign of a Democratic challenger, the screaming from our media would be so loud, it would reach distant planets. But the space aliens would just tune it out; if there’s any intelligent life out there, it has no doubt concluded there’s no intelligent life down here.
And now (speaking of unintelligent life), the New York Times has published another article designed to “help” the poor, beleaguered FBI. Headline: “FBI Used Informant to Investigate Russia Ties to Campaign, Not to Spy, as Trump Claims.” So, this wasn’t a spy; it was an INFORMANT. Well, that’s very different.
Read through this account --- knowing what you know --- and you’ll be able to see even more clearly that this was very much a case of spying. In the case of George Papadopoulos and the set-up London trip, it couldn’t be more obvious. The shady maneuvers are right out of a spy movie, yet they accomplished precisely nothing. When the “informant” pressed Papadopoulos on what the Russians were doing to interfere with the election, he said he didn’t know anything about it. I might be going out on a limb here, but maybe that’s because he didn’t know anything about it.
One last note: the NYT article goes on at length about the need for secrecy regarding the name of the spy --- I mean “informant.” If it’s so darned important to protect his identity, what about the many “sources and methods” put in jeopardy when all of Hillary’s classified State Department business was sent through an unsecure server and hacked by who-knows-who? Gosh, you’d think a person would go to jail for putting lives at risk like that.