Forget Russian Collusion. We Are Russia.
What's a citizen to do when he or she no longer trusts the intelligence agencies of his or her country?
That's the terrifying situation evolving from the leaks and counter-leaks surrounding the various investigations grouped under the rubric "Russia" -- though it appears to have less and less to do with Russia and more and more to do with us. We are Russia.
Rowan Scarborough reported in the Washington Times Monday:
What caused the Barack Obama administration to begin investigating the Donald Trump campaign last summer has come into clearer focus following a string of congressional hearings on Russian interference in the presidential election.
It was then-CIA director John O. Brennan, a close confidant of Mr. Obama’s, who provided the information — what he termed the “basis” — for the FBI to start the counterintelligence investigation last summer. Mr. Brennan served on the former president’s 2008 presidential campaign and in his White House.
Mr. Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians. Mr. Brennan did not name either the Russians or the Trump people. He indicated he did not know what was said.
Oh, really? Note the use of the word "indicated." Meanwhile, there's this TV report from Fox News's James Rosen, a man, you will recall, who was himself surveilled by the Obama administration:
JAMES ROSEN: [House Democratic Leader] Pelosi confessed ignorance of this week's disclosure that the National Security Agency for at least five years under the Obama administration systematically violated Americans' Fourth Amendment rights...
Civil liberties groups said the disclosures should factor into lawmakers' decision at year's end about whether to reauthorize the NSA collection program that witnessed the abuses...
The sheer scale of the 4th Amendment violations is staggering, as was the sternness of the rebuke of the Obama administration by the FISA court, which ordinarily approves 99.9% of the government's request.
As of a few minutes ago, this story had not been covered by the Washington Post, the New York Times or any of the three broadcast networks.
That was two days ago. Not surprisingly, it still hasn't appeared in those papers, at least as of this writing. They are, as the late Eldridge Cleaver famously said, part of the problem, not part of the solution. But back to Scarborough:
But he [Brennan] said he believed the contacts were numerous enough to alert the FBI, which began its probe into Trump associates that same July, according to previous congressional testimony from then- FBI director James B. Comey.
The FBI probe of contacts came the same month the intelligence community fingered Russian agents as orchestrating hacks into Democratic Party computers and providing stolen emails to WikiLeaks.
Mr. Brennan, who has not hidden his dislike for Mr. Trump, testified he briefed the investigation’s progress to Mr. Obama, who at the time was trying to aid Hillary Clinton in her campaign against the Republican nominee.
So this was all happening nearly a year ago. Our intelligence agencies -- if I read this correctly -- were being subverted for domestic political purposes. As I said, welcome to Russia. Could the KGB do it any better?
If true, and it damn well seems that it is, this all dwarfs the Russian hacking story (so far unproven anyway) or even Trump's putative collusion with Putin's boys (even more unproven as of now. In fact, absurd).
What it means is that American democracy was being stolen from us. Our system was headed -- and still is headed if we don't stop this -- in the direction of Iran's with our virtually unsupervised intel agencies playing the role of the mullahs' Assembly of Experts, controlling whom we could vote for and what would happen after they were elected.
So where should this leave Special Counsel Robert Mueller? Recusing himself, because he's too close to Comey and the former FBI director is obviously too deep in all this. If there is to be an investigation, it better be a thorough one and it better be conducted by someone with as clean hands as possible, if such a person could exist in Washington, D. C. Maybe the Little Sisters of the Poor.
It all gives new meaning to this oldie:
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His latest book is I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn't Already. He tweets @rogerlsimon.