Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Some Dare Call It Treason


Damage Control by Nancy Ohanian

Friday, as soon as I read the NY Times piece about how Trump failed to react when he was briefed on Russia paying bounties to Afghan rebels and criminals for the deaths of U.S. soldiers, I knew Señor T was cooked. Treason doesn't fly-- not even in Wyoming, the Trumpiest state in the Union. The Washington Post, CNN and even the Wall Street Journal have all confirmed that Trump was briefed on the story (it was in his briefing book), although-- caught like a rat, he's been denying it. Nervous congressional Republicans are either hiding under their beds or issuing tepid statements calling for all the facts. Besides Liz Cheney, peeping up cautiously were French Hill (R-AR), Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Rodney Davis (R-IL), but Trump knows congressional Republicans are afraid if him and will toe the party line when push comes to shove.

European intelligence agencies have also confirmed that Russia's version of the CIA-- the GRU, which is tightly controlled by Putin-- has been paying rewards for dead American and British soldiers. At first the official stand by the Trumpets Regime was that neither Trump nor Pence were briefed and knew nothing about it. Both Trump, Kayleigh McEnany, the Russian embassy in DC, the Taliban and the joke Trump and McConnell installed Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, claimed the NY Times story had no merit. Yesterday Ellen Nakashima, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter covering intelligence and national security, and John Wagner reported that Trump, who has been waffling on his story, claimed on Sunday night that the CIA didn't find the bounty story credible so never bothered telling Trump about it-- a typically Trumpian bold faced lie.

Last night the Associated Press reported that "Top officials in the White House were aware in early 2019 of classified intelligence indicating Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans [and that] the assessment was included in at least one of President Donald Trump’s written daily intelligence briefings at the time, according to the officials. Then-national security adviser John Bolton also told colleagues he briefed Trump on the intelligence assessment in March 2019." High-level sources at the Pentagon leaked the secret report to the press.
Russian bounties offered to Taliban-linked militants to kill coalition forces in Afghanistan are believed to have resulted in the deaths of several U.S. service members, according to intelligence gleaned from U.S. military interrogations of captured militants in recent months.

The intelligence was passed up from the U.S. Special Operations forces based in Afghanistan and led to a restricted high-level White House meeting in late March, the people said.
Traitor by Chip Proser

Trump tried distracting Republicans with one of his childish bait-and-switch tweets Sunday at 4:30 AM: "Nobody’s been tougher on Russia than the Trump Administration. With Corrupt Joe Biden & Obama, Russia had a field day, taking over important parts of Ukraine - Where’s Hunter? Probably just another phony Times hit job, just like their failed Russia Hoax. Who is their 'source'?"

Biden didn't cut Trump any slack at his virtual town hall over the weekend. Trump's response was to call Biden names and claim he didn't write his remarks himself.

Monday, The Guardian ran a Lisa O'Kelly interview with Russian-American author and journalist, Masha Gessen. She asked him, "who's worse, Putin or Trump?" He responded that "In a way, I think Trump is worse. I never thought I would hear myself say that. They share a lot of characteristics although they are temperamentally extremely different men. They both have this contempt for excellence, they both have a hatred of government, and they both have this way of campaigning against government as such, even as presidents of their respective countries. I think in the end, Putin is somewhat less cynical. He has an idea-- it is self-aggrandising and absurd on the face of it--that if he stepped away Russia would fall apart and so he has to carry this burden. And for his labours he deserves to have the yachts and the palaces and all that. But he is doing it for his country. Trump doesn’t even have that delusion. It’s all power and money in their purest form. And you could dig as deep as you want, you would never find a shred of responsibility."

She also asked "What is the most important rule for surviving autocracy?"
For the state of one’s soul, for the state of one’s mind, I think it is absolutely essential to protest and show outrage. Does that have political consequences? Not immediately and not on its own. But I think what we’re seeing in America right now is several steps on from outrage. It’s outrage, plus organising, plus sustained political activity. The big question is how sustained will it be? If it is sustained in some manner, then I think we are in a revolutionary moment. In the book I talk about how in order to actually survive Trump’s attempt at autocracy we have to give up the idea of some imaginary pre-Trumpian normalcy and commit to reinvention. And that is really what these protests are about.

I don’t think there is anyone who is involved who would say: “Oh, we just have to get rid of Trump.” These protests are about the fatal flaw at the root of this democracy and that’s a really upsetting idea for a lot of somewhat conservative commentators. But culturally and politically Americans have a story of being born of protest. These protests are calling for an American reinvention. They are protesting for a more perfect union.

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At 12:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Trump knows congressional Republicans are afraid if him and will toe the party line when push comes to shove."

So where will all these Cowardly Lyin's be when President Hillary - I mean, Joe Biden takes power (assuming many things to deliver such a result)? They will be back to snarling and roaring since they know that the "Democrats" are even more cowardly and will give in to anything they demand.

In one sense, I wish the corporatists would just sweep the Congress into the dustbin of history already. They are completely useless even for corporatist goals and waste an incredible amount of time and energy which would be better utilized by corporate interests to continue the process of plundering the nation without the added expense of paying for these incompetent losers.

At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

trump is loathesome. has been for 70 years. gets worse every year. this much is truth.

but he's not wrong about obamanation/biden wrt Ukraine. First they, at the very best, allowed a coup (at worst, they supported and fomented it) that unseated a democratically elected government (history buffs, all 17 in this shithole, will find this a familiar sequence of events, repeated all over the world since the '50s). And when Russia annexed Crimea, a very popular act among the ethnic Russians there, obamanation/biden did nothing except capitalize by selling Ukeraine weapons to conduct war for fun and PROFIT! And hunter did get a job based on his access to his dad, not on his expertise on extraction.

but the thing with sheepdogs, their barks all sound the same. trump/Nazis-bad. biden/democraps-silencio.

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Ten Bears said...

Yet none dare call it conspiracy.

At 5:18 PM, Blogger lukeness said...

I believe Masha Gessen prefers they/them pronouns.


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