Why has holding to individual freedoms become so threatening, (again)?
“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” ~ African Proverb.
Beware the Pigs in Charge of The Revolution !
Old major, the leader says, with “the man” gone, the animals would enjoy the abundance the land provides and build a new society based on equality. He says that “the man” has no concern for the animals—that he uses them until they are no longer productive. He butchers many young ones and euthanizes them all when they get old.
Napoleon takes over and anoints himself as the great leader and claims he is making things better for everyone—despite the fact that the common animals are cold, hungry, poor, and overworked if they have a job at all. He is proud of his new policies that now assures butchering the young ones before they are even born and euthanizing all the rest when they get old. It was after all, part of the “hope and change,” they said they wanted.
Years pass on Animal Farm, and the pigs have become more and more like “the man”— walking upright, living in luxury with only their guards able to carry guns; feasting on the finest of foods, and wearing expensive clothes.
One day, looking in at the party of elites through the farmhouse window, the common animals can no longer tell which are the pigs and which are “the man.” But at least now they know what it is like to to be ruled by pigs.
And though it’s too late, they also realize, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”.
Edited from Animal Farm, by George Orwell.
“Lawyers (and politicians) are the only persons in whom ignorance of the law is not punished.” ~ Jeremy Bentham
Long but interesting read.
Second of Three Parts…
In the first installment of this series, we observed that globalism is an ideology, maybe even a theology. And so of course, globalism generates plenty of passionate support among the planetary elite. And yet passion must be translated into political power. And of course, the globalists have plenty of that, too. In this second installment, we will see how the globalists still seek to get their way, even after losing the 2016 elections. For them, Target #1, of course, is Donald Trump.
1. The Weaponization of Rumors
Every Breitbart reader is familiar with the general outlines of the Russia hack story: Beginning in June 2016, someone or something known as “Guccifer 2.0” was taking credit for hacking the computers of top Democrats and, working through Julian Assange’s Wikileaks, doling out juicy information.
The hacks were clearly damaging to the Democrats. And because the leaks proved to be true, they had significant repercussions. The revelations forced, for example, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, to resign last July.
Soon, the Democrats developed their counter-strategy, which can be summed up as, It’s Donald Trump’s fault. That is, whoever and whatever Guccifer was, he or it was doing the hacking to help Trump. So again, Blame Trump!
By the fall, the Democrats had a further point to make: The Russians were doing it. So was it, in fact, the Russian spy agencies FSB, or GRU, that were behind the hacks? Virgil doesn’t know, but he does know this: The Democrats were accusing the Russians, at least at first, without any solid evidence.
Meanwhile, at around the same time, the Democrats decided that they themselves should play the Russia Innuendo Game.
So beginning in July, rumors began to circulate that an investigation had uncovered bombshell revelations about Trump and the Russians. Yet the evidence was flimsy, at best: it consisted of various statements, attributed to unnamed sources, accusing Trump of various things.
In other words, nothing was proven, and so even the Main Stream Media, hungry as it was for anti-Trump hammers, chose not to touch the allegations. The one exception was a vague October 31 item in the left-wing Mother Jones, which reported–perhaps one should say, “reported”—that a “former Western intelligence officer,” hired first by anti-Trump Republicans, and then by Democrats, had assembled a dossier suggesting that Trump had been “compromised” by Russian intelligence.
The Mother Jones report was carefully written, mindful that there was no proof and, in fact, no evidence, other than the say-so of one writer, who had been on the payroll of anti-Trump forces. Which is to say, it was nothing—just an opposition-research dump full of unknown unknowns. Indeed, the words could have been for a far-out novel or screenplay.
Yet the Mother Jones story did have one specific nugget: We learned that in a letter to FBI Director James Comey, dated October 30, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid had attempted, yet again, to stir the anti-Trump pot. As Reid declared:
In my communications with you and other top officials in the national security community, it has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government—a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States.
Yet despite Reid’s best efforts, the allegations still got no traction: Media outlets, no matter how pro-Hillary, were just not going to attach their credibility to a report that had no demonstrable basis in fact.
Moreover, it’s also possible that the Democrats didn’t push the anti-Trump story as hard as they could have—they were complacent. That is, they thought Hillary Clinton was on her way to victory, and so why rock the boat by raising allegations that might ricochet in some unforeseen direction? Against, maybe, Bill Clinton? As Obama himself has said, he and all his advisers were convinced that Hillary was going to win. And so after the election, Obama & Co. assumed, Clinton 45 could clean up whatever mess had been made.
Of course, all that smugness evaporated after Trump’s election on November 8.
2. The Deep State Makes Its Moves
Ever since Trump’s triumph, the anti-Trump drumbeat has grown ever louder. And it’s not just Democrats. We have since learned, for example, that in December, Republican Sen. John McCain personally delivered anti-Trump allegations to the FBI. And of course, there could have been other political players—many others—involved in the anti-Trump effort.
In fact, it’s accurate to say that the vast bulk of DC officialdom is anti-Trump. Here at Breitbart on December 12, I took a look at this officialdom; it’s been called the “Deep State.” That is, the Deep State is the permanent political combine that runs Washington—or at least tries to. As I defined it a month ago:
The term “Deep State” refers to the complex of bureaucrats, technocrats, and plutocrats that likes things just the way they are and wants to keep them like that—elections be damned.
It’s obvious that the last thing that the Deep State wants to see is the DC swamp being drained. To them, it’s home!
Virgil wrote again about the Deep State vs. Trump on December 19, noting that the Deep State will soon have its natural leader, Barack Obama:
The 44th president won’t be going far. Come January, he’ll be moving just a mile or so uptown, to the swanky Kalorama neighborhood, where, it’s a safe bet, he’ll hold court as if he were still president. So the Deep State will still have a rallying point as it plots its next move against the Dreaded Trump. Or should we say, it will have another rallying point, because, in fact, it already has plenty.
Virgil might note that this story was written three weeks before Politico revealed the soon-to-be ex-president’s future plans. Here’s the headline from January 9: “Obama retools his political operation for another run: He will use his foundation and an updated Organizing for Action group to try to salvage his legacy and rebuild the Democratic Party.” In other words, Obama will be a force to be reckoned with.
And so in that December 19 piece, Virgil closed with these words, which have proven to be prophetic:
The bitter election is over, dear reader, but the real storm is still to come.
Since then, the storm has come on many fronts. Aside from the usual anti-Trump media, Deep Staters are pursuing other angles; for example, the career staff at the US Department of Justice is targeting FBI Director James Comey for his pre-election handling of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail case; it’s a safe bet that these careerists, enjoying statutory autonomy within DOJ, will find Comey in violation of something.
Meanwhile, anti-Trump lawyers and other activists from across the country are planning to descend on the Capitol for the Inauguration. And we just learned that Deep Staters stationed in Israel have warned their Israeli counterparts not to trust Trump.
Yet the Deep State is most active inside the DC Beltway: For example, one energetic Deep State anti-Trumper is Walter Shaub, director of the Office of Government Ethics. Yes, he’s a federal employee, but Shaub has turned his supposedly non-partisan office into a partisan machine, advancing his anti-Trump campaign including, even, on Twitter.
Interestingly, the research group America’s Rising has observed that Shaub, a Democrat who donated to Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, has never seemed bothered by Hillary Clinton’s multiple ethical transgressions. As the group puts it:
Shaub’s history as a Democrat and the double standard he employed as head of the OGE, should give the media pause before taking Shaub’s words seriously.
And yet of course, Shaub is still in the news all the time, always flailing at Trump. Here, for example, is a January 11 headline in The Hill, describing Shaub’s latest attack: “Federal ethics chief blasts ‘meaningless’ Trump business plan.” And this, from Politico: “Federal ethics czar delivers broadside against Trump conflicts plan.”
Yet the biggest broadsides, of course, have been over the question of Russian influence in the US. Even if reporters stayed away from scurrilous rumors that couldn’t be proven, they nevertheless pursued other angles, notably, that the Russians had a strategy for helping Trump defeat Hillary.
In this effort, of course, journos were greatly aided by Deep Staters.
For example, in mid-December, Politico Europe added the detail—make that the alleged, as opposed to proven, detail—that Russian leader Vladimir Putin “personally directed” the hacking effort, as part of his supposed “vendetta” against Hillary Clinton. Is that true? Who knows. But Politico got the story, it wrote, from “multiple senior intelligence officials.”
3. The Battle of the Beltway
Then, last week, the story heated up even hotter. And the flashpoint was that dubious dossier—the one, as we have noted, that had been floating around for months.
Recently, the “Big Four” intel chiefs—that would be Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers—decided that the document was worth taking seriously after all. That is, the “Western” operative mentioned by Mother Jones—publicly identified recently as a Briton, Christopher Steele, a former British MI-6 spy—was suddenly given a promotion; now, he and his info were deemed to be a credible source. So credible, in fact, that the Big Four needed to tell Trump all about it.
So last week, the President-elect was briefed on some of the allegations by senior US intelligence officials. And here’s what’s strange: Even though that quartet of Deep Staters is supposed to be good at keeping secrets, the news of that briefing immediately leaked.
As The Washington Post reported on January 10, one top official said that Trump was briefed on the allegations “because they were already circulating widely and it was ‘mostly a courtesy’ to let him know they were out there.”
To which Virgil can say, that’s some kind of “courtesy”! In fact, it seems to have been more like a set-up. Let’s think about it: Scurrilous rumors about Trump have been floating around for months, rumbling below the level of newsworthiness, and yet the Intel Quartet says that, as a “courtesy,” they will tell Trump about the rumors, and then blab about it to the press. That’s not courtesy, that’s chutzpah.
And so of course, components of the briefing, the saucy parts, became huge news. After all, the Intel Quartet, in telling Trump about the charges, had given them a kind of pseudo-truthiness—and had certainly made them newsworthy. So now, for the MSM, it was open season on Trump.
Politico, always the expert at stirring up the Beltway, blared its January 10 headline, “Trump confronts firestorm of Russia allegations.” The story quoted Adam Jentleson, a former top aide to Harry Reid, as tweeting out, in all-capital letters, “THIS IS WHAT HARRY REID WAS REFERRING TO.” That is, referring back to Reid’s October 30 letter to FBI Director Comey. (We might pause to note that Jentleson is now running a “war room” for the Center for American Progress, which is to say, his full time job is now sending out all-caps political blasts.)
CNN ran hard with the Trump story. It was “breaking news,” the channel declared, that “the nation’s top intelligence officials” had briefed both Trump (and, at other times, Obama and Joe Biden) on information that “compromised President-elect Trump.”
Meanwhile, Team Trump hotly denied all of it. On ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” Kellyanne Conway said:
Just to smear the president-elect of the United States, we now have intelligence officials divulging information that they are sworn not to divulge. I don’t even think this is fake news, I think this is just fake.
For his part, Trump was wise to what the Deep State was doing to him. Deriding his enemies as “sick people,” he tweeted:
Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to “leak” into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?
As we have come to expect, that was some tough talk from Trump. And yet his obvious anger aside, the President-elect was also shrewdly firming up his base, which has long believed the worst about the MSM and the Deep State.
Indeed, in that January 11 press conference, Trump seized the opportunity to go on the offensive. He not only dismissed the accusations, but he also labeled CNN as “fake news,” no doubt provoking loud cheers all across Trump Nation.
And the President-elect recalled how he had been set up by the Intel Quartet: “Every time I meet [with the officials], people are reading about it.” He added that it’s “very unfair that it happened, very unfair to the American people.”
Thus Trump rallied his support; on January 12, Politico Playbook, an e-mail tipsheet for DC insiders and wannabe insiders, had to grudgingly admit, “For most people who watched Trump yesterday, it was a pretty good performance.”
Yet of course, Trump’s harshest critics are, well, still harsh. So it’s fair to say that the forces on both sides of the battleline—pro-Trump and anti-Trump—have now redoubled their resolve.
Here we can pause to note that the intelligence officials apparently delivered only a dry two-page summary of the allegations; we can call that the Little Smear. Yet there was also a longer, 35-page heap of allegations, including sexual allegations; we can call that the Big Smear.
The leading player in the Big Smear was BuzzFeed, an online publication founded by one Jonah Peretti, who had earlier learned his trade at The Huffington Post. Yes, the website printed the full 35-page dossier, complete with its sexual salaciousness. (Once again, we must immediately stipulate that there’s zero proof that any of the charges are true.)
Amazingly, at the same time that he published this slime, BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith tweeted out, “There is serious reason to doubt the allegations.”
Virgil’s not a lawyer, but it sure seems to him that Smith’s admission meets the legal standard for defamation, including “reckless disregard for the truth.” As one legal resource puts it:
If the person defamed was a public figure, the person making the defamatory statement can only be held liable for defamation if he/she knew that the statement was false or if he/she acted with reckless disregard as to the truth or falsity of the statement. [emphasis added]
Meanwhile, criticism from others in the media came cascading down on Buzzfeed. Speaking for the MSM, NBC News’ Chuck Todd put it right in the face of BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith:
You just published fake news. You made a knowing decision to put out an untruth.
Smith answered by saying, “I think this is a real story about a real document.” To which we can say, yes, it is a real document, in the sense that it has words on a page. But that doesn’t mean it’s a true document. As in, every single word on every single page could be a lie—and BuzzFeed offered the reader no help in verifying anything.
Meanwhile, other MSM-ers weighed in. The Wall Street Journal reported, in its mild way, “The Journal hasn’t been able to verify the allegations.” At the same time, two Washington Post media writers, Margaret Sullivan and Erik Wemple, denounced Buzzfeed’s decision. And on January 12, DC veteran Mike Allen–formerly at Politico, now at a new start-up, Axios—dismissed the allegations:
Think about the half day of madness that started when BuzzFeed posted, in full, an unsubstantiated, one-source memo, funded by partisans, that claimed acts — too disgusting to print — by the man a week from the Oval Office.
That is, Allen was saying, nothing is going to come of this.
In the meantime, on the orthodox conservative right, National Review’s David French, himself strongly anti-Trump, wrote of the BuzzFeed story:
This is ridiculous. How can “Americans make up their own minds” when they have no ability to fact-check the allegations? The public knows nothing about the sources, nothing about the underlying claims, and has no means of discovering the truth. . . . This isn’t transparency; it’s malice.
And conservative media watchdog Brent Bozell threw this punch:
BuzzFeed’s story is clearly fake news. Any media outlet that does not produce a news story that declares BuzzFeed’s story fake news is giving aid and comfort to fake news and furthering its proliferation. This fiasco is exactly why the media’s ratings are in the toilet.
And here’s Glenn Greenwald, writing for The Intercept, hard-hitting as always. Under the headline, “The Deep State Goes to War with President-Elect, Using Unverified Claims, as Democrats Cheer,” Greenwald declared any publication of the material to be “an assault on journalism, democracy, and basic human rationality.”
Greenwald’s critique notwithstanding, the MSM is now having its cake and eating it too. That is, it can claim “clean hands” in not printing the allegations at first, and yet now that they’re out, it can happily reprint the allegations; after all, someone else printed them first, thereby making them “news.” Thus it is that casual references to the dossier are now finding their way into MSM stories about the Trump administration, not just stories about the Russia allegations. This is the MSM daisy-chain: a happy circle of anti-Trumpism. Americans might not like it, but MSM-ers sure do.
Meanwhile, another acute observer, Matt Drudge, wondered if the Russians were even involved at all. That is, perhaps it was the Deep State itself cranking out the allegations, while throwing the blame at Moscow:
Are corrupt US intel agencies blackmailing Trump with their own dirt cleverly tagged to “Russian” operatives?
Interestingly, amidst this backlash against the now-notorious bad briefing, one of the briefers, James Clapper, has chosen to distance himself from the others. Late in the evening of January 11, he issued a statement declaring that the intelligence agencies had “not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable.” To which Virgil says: “Nice try, Mr. Clapper, but the time to speak up about your concerns was before the briefing, or during the briefing, not after the briefing—after the bleep hit the fan.”
Of course, Clapper’s retrospective regrets notwithstanding, the Deep State is full speed ahead, still seeking to torpedo Trump.
For example, former Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook compares the matter to Watergate. The implication is clear enough: Just as the Deep State succeeding in driving Richard Nixon out of office back in 1974, now today, the Deep State should seek the same fate for Trump.
Of course, Trump is not planning on going anywhere; in fact, it’s been reported that staffers are already working on his 2020 re-election campaign.
So the Battle of the Beltway will continue.
Next: The Deep State opens up another front against Trump.
13 January 2017
“Tell me with whom thou art found, and I will tell thee who thou art.” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe