We might have only barely started to “drain the swamp,” but as we learn more about the deep state --- and, yes, it’s REAL --- those who have been paying attention increasingly see how mired Washington is in muck.
For a good example, one that will chill any student of history who knows the horror caused by similar rationalizations, look at what ex-CIA Director John Brennan tweeted on Tuesday: “As in previous times of National peril, we rely on our military, diplomats, intelligence officials, law enforcement officers, and other courageous patriots to protect our liberties, freedom, & democracy. May they stay resolute & strong despite corrupt political headwinds they face.”
Where to start? Well, because this comes from John Brennan, we know that by “national peril,” he means the Trump administration, put into office by voters all across America like you and me who were concerned by what WE saw as national peril: the unelected bureaucrats Brennan is touting as the solution. He loathes us and the President we elected. He wants to take Trump down by any means necessary, including blatant deception, and in his mind doing that makes him a courageous patriot. The “political headwinds” are independent thinkers such as you and me. Brennan is going to “protect democracy” by discounting it. And if he’d succeeded, the people who would’ve taken Trump’s place would now be hard at work destroying our liberties in ways never before seen.
This is a dangerous, dangerous man –- and he’d be much more so if Hillary Clinton had been elected and he and his comrades had remained in power behind the scenes. (In fact, he and Hillary are cut from the same cloth. Her machinations go back decades; do you recall Craig Livingstone and the amassing of raw FBI files at the White House?) At least now Brennan has been outed for what he is.
Somehow, within the framework of this “democracy” they claim they want to save, government bureaucrats came to think THEY run the show. They take hold below the surface like root weevils. Elected officials come and go, but the incoming leaders had better conform to the policies of longtime government officials or they will be sabotaged at every turn. If the new President presents as big a challenge to the bureaucracy as Trump does, watch policy disagreements magically turn into “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
That is what happened when some State Department officials were called to testify before Intel Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s kangaroo court---I mean, “impeachment inquiry” hearing. Trump has already released the full transcript of the call with Ukrainian President Zelensky that’s supposedly the basis for the "inquiry," and it shows no specific attempt to tie military aid with an investigation into the Bidens. It’s a normal diplomatic call, officially overheard by a number of State Department personnel and transcribed in the usual way. Zelensky, at the time of the call, didn’t even know there'd been a holdup in the payment, which did end up being made! The so-called “whistleblower” still remains anonymous and offered only hearsay and an extremely wrongheaded impression of the call, but Schiff forged ahead anyway and called two more officials to essentially give their opinions of Trump’s general approach to Ukraine.
Note: I should first mention that any quotes below come either from opening statements or in answer to Schiff-approved questions, as Schiff is actually stopping Republicans from asking questions he doesn’t like. According to Ranking Intel Committee member Devin Nunes, witnesses were also coached. Details at link:
National Security Council official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who was on the phone call between Trump and Zelensky, disagrees with Trump on his policy in the Ukraine; we don’t know, but perhaps he was even the source for the “whistleblower’s” hearsay report. In his testimony before Schiff’s committee, he said, “I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens & Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained.”
Now wait just a doggone minute. Why should the investigation of Burisma, rife with corruption, be considered a “partisan play”? Is it because Hunter Biden was on the board? And if so, doesn’t that tell us why Hunter Biden shouldn’t have BEEN on the board to begin with? The conflict of interest is staggering.
In his testimony, acting ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor said this: “To restore Ukraine’s independence, Russia must leave Ukraine. This has been and should continue to be a bipartisan U.S. foreign policy goal.” So, Mr. Taylor, who gets to decide this, YOU? If you think so, you are as misinformed as Rick in Casablanca, who came to Casablanca for the waters. The PRESIDENT gets to decide this. The State Department answers to the President, not the other way around. At least, that’s the way it’s supposed to work.
Obviously, what Schiff is doing with his “inquiry” is allowing witnesses to present opinions as evidence. There is no EVIDENCE-evidence; we’ve seen the transcript of the call, and it isn't there. FOX News’ Gregg Jarrett agrees…
Andrew C. McCarthy, writing in NATIONAL REVIEW, argues that Trump has got to start presenting his side of the case, not just criticizing the unfairness of the process. McCarthy has provided some direction on that score, pointing out that the national interests of neither the U.S. or Ukraine were harmed by the delay in transferring the aid, that the Ukrainian government was never pressed into investigating the Bidens, and that the facts of this case “pale in comparison to the Obama administration’s 2016 collusion with foreign powers and exploitation of intelligence and law-enforcement powers in the investigation of Trump’s campaign.”
I would add that much more relating to that last point will be coming out shortly, with the reports by IG Michael Horowitz and U.S. Attorney John Durham. This is one reason why Democrats want to the media to be “all impeachment, all the time.” As Jeff Zucker at CNN has demonstrated, their friends in the media are only too glad to play that role.
Here’s the link to McCarthy’s full commentary (this is the second of two parts, but it recaps part 1); this is a commendably even-handed defense that acknowledges some problems with Trump’s diplomatic style yet explains very well why these don’t rise to the level of impeachment.
I especially love his defense of Trump’s use of Giuliani to go around the State Department. (Bill Taylor, in his testimony, expressed concern about this “irregular” channel, when virtually every President has had a back channel.) Though McCarthy observes that doing this has caused problems for the President, he offered a brilliantly understated observation: “If President Trump believes the unaccountable federal bureaucracy works against him because it thinks it knows better, that is not merely a figment of his admittedly active imagination.”
Anyone who doubts this should just go back and re-read Brennan’s tweet until it sinks in.
Incidentally, speaking of William Taylor, he’s Exhibit A in the case to be made about the murkiness of the State Department swamp. Not to go all conspiracy-theory on you, but take a look at the lines that can be drawn between Bill Taylor and the Atlantic Council, which is a think tank funded by Burisma Holdings (where Hunter Biden was on the board), George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, Google, and the U.S. State Department (!). Taylor also participated in events organized by David J. Kramer, a long-time advisor to the late Sen. John McCain; Kramer was involved in disseminating the Trump “dossier” to Obama officials and the media. There’s much more at the link; sure makes you wonder how objective a witness Mr. Taylor can be when it comes to President Trump.