Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
The Democrats and some Republican NeverTrump bitter-enders are still so addled by losing the election that they have lost themselves in a political Area 51. Like peddlers of space-alien autopsies and earthling abductions, they are spinning preposterous conspiracy theories straight out of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, while the real story––the illegal leaks of classified intelligence involving American citizens––is ignored.
We all know the lurid scenario: Vladimir Putin, filled with hatred of Hillary for criticizing and sanctioning him for his invasions of his neighbors’ territories, “hacked” the election in order to tilt the outcome to Donald Trump. Trump, after all, said some vaguely nice things about Vlad during the campaign, and most likely has secret dodgy business interests in Russia. Several of Trump’s friends probably do too, and so they cooperated with Russian intelligence, its WikiLeaks minions, and its propaganda rag Russia Today to smear Hillary and the Democrats. And, don’t forget, it’s likely Vlad has some embarrassing untoward info on Trump he can use to blackmail the president. QED.
This conspiracy theory is preposterous, and the media’s and Dems’ continued use of the phrase “hacked the election,” as if voting machines were meddled with, is rank propaganda and confirms the continuing absence of real evidence. Of course Russia tried to influence the election, as it has tried to influence every American election since the 1930s. And we have tried, and continue to try, to influence elections in other countries all over the world. Have the Dems forgotten how Obama in 2015 interfered in Israel’s elections by spending $350 thousand on “campaign infrastructure” to be used against Benjamin Netanyahu? As for Americans colluding with Russia during an election, where was all this high dudgeon when in 1983 Ted Kennedy offered Soviet premier Yuri Andropov a quid pro quo? As Forbes reports of the deal, “Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election.” Kennedy also offered to visit Russia and help them with access to the American media.
This typical Trumpophobic hypocrisy is also evident in the amnesia about who was really getting chummy with Putin––Obama and Hillary. Taking missile-defense installations out of Poland and the Czech Republic; working on a “reset” of relations that had soured because of Russian territorial theft in Georgia and Moldova; Obama in 2012 asking Russian president Dmitri Medvedev to assure Vlad of his “flexibility” after the election––all comprise evidence of Obama’s appeasement more solid than the innuendo and rumor supposedly proving Trump colluded with Vlad.
And let’s not forget Hillary’s foundation, which in exchange for $2.35 in million in contributions, helped a Russian uranium-mining company, Rosatom, execute a take-over of “uranium mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West,” the New York Times reported, making “Rosatom one of the world’s largest uranium producers” and bringing “Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain.” Where were the five-alarm bells over allowing a geopolitical rival to gain such a critical weapons advantage?
As for the hacking of the DNC computers, so what? Was any of the embarrassing information false? Was it Trump’s fault that the DNC was so sloppy and careless with cyber security, or so catty and snarky about their fellow Dems? If we ask cui bono, Bernie Sanders and his fans benefitted as much as Trump, since the leaks proved their contention that a corrupt Democrat establishment was wiring the nomination for Hillary with the collusion of the media.
And does anybody really think that voters in some counties in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania changed their vote only because they learned of DNC ineptitude and corruption? Doesn’t Occam’s Razor suggest a simpler reason for Hillary’s loss? Like Obama’s failed domestic and foreign policies; Hillary’s total lack of likability, achievement, and political skill; a corrupt media openly rooting for one side; political correctness run amok and trying to enforce an illiberal ideology; and the arrogant hypocrisy of progressives whose hearts bleed for the “oppressed” even as they contemptuously ignore the impact of their policies on the lives and beliefs of the struggling working class whose votes put Trump over the finish line.
Meanwhile, the real scandal is the politicization of intelligence by those who had access to it, and then leaked it to the media in order to damage Trump’s presidential campaign and cripple his fledgling administration. Now we are hearing from an anonymous source that a highly placed intelligence official leaked the names of citizens who were linked to Trump and his campaign, and who had been surveilled “incidentally” and then their identities “unmasked.” A former Obama Defense Department functionary and Hillary campaign advisor admitted on MSNBC that she counseled her former colleagues to gather and distribute classified information on Trump during the transition. And why did Obama’s Tom Hagen, AG Loretta Lynch, a few days before Trump took office let the NSA distribute “raw signals intelligence information” to 16 other intelligence agencies? How does multiplying the number of potential leakers serve the national security?
Every American should want to get to the bottom of this serial contempt for the law and violation of citizen rights. We need to find out those responsible, and if they are found guilty, subject them to the penalties prescribed by law in order to send the message that such violations of public trust and fealty to the Constitution will not be tolerated.
That’s what House Representative Devin Nunes, Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, is trying to do, only to be demonized by the Dems and NeverTrump Republicans who are demanding his resignation as chair of the committee. Why? Because Nunes briefed Trump before the minority members of his committee. Dems who spent eight years enabling Obama’s hijacking of the powers of Congress are suddenly passionate about its superficial prerogatives.
And what have Democrats done to deserve such consideration? They have declared a war of “resistance” against Trump, pandered night and day to their radical base, obstructed and undermined the president at every possible opportunity, and crudely and childishly insulted and mocked him. Progressive judges have blocked his completely Constitutional executive orders on immigration out of irrational spite, and Dem-friendly intelligence officials are likely behind the leaks of his phone conversations with the presidents of Australia and Mexico, as well as the classified information that led to Mike Flynn’s resignation as national security advisor. But Republicans are supposed to trust them and abide by the professional “protocols” and “courtesies” that the Dems serially violate. Isn’t this the same cringing acceptance of a double standard that turned so many voters against the party establishment?
I get why the Dems are squealing. It’s their standard tactic of projecting their sins onto others, and forcing Republicans to play by a different set of rules that Democrats never follow themselves. And given the felonious carelessness of their standard-bearer Hillary, who while Secretary of State grossly violated her responsibility to protect classified information and ran a pay-for-play Foundation, their moralizing bluster about Trump’s alleged ties to Russia is not only shameless, but surreal.
As for us ordinary citizens, we need to stop listening to the hysteria and misdirection, and start demanding that the leakers be investigated, identified, and if found guilty, punished. Let’s restore accountability and affirm one of the most important principles of constitutional government––no one is above the law.