By David Stockman, December 3, 2018
Excerpts; Then Ray Commentary
“The Deep State thrives and milks the public treasury so successfully in large part because the Imperial City’s corps of permanent policy apparatchiks like Comey and Brennan (and thousands more) pretend to be performing god’s work. So doing, they preen sanctimoniously to the adoration of their sycophants in the mainstream media, claiming to be above any governance or sanction from the unwashed electorate…
“The president has the unquestioned constitutional power to both appoint and fire his own cabinet, sub-cabinet and upwards of 3,000 Schedule C policy jobs; and also to declassify (See below) anything lurking behind the Deep State’s massive wall of unjustified secrecy if he deems it in the public interest.
“Accordingly, Trump could have and should have fired Jeff Sessions long before he did and Rod Rosenstein even before that. After all, it is the spinelessness of the former and the Deep State treachery of the latter, that launched the hideous Mueller witch-hunt in the first place and that keeps it going from one absurdity to the next ridiculous over-reach. …
“The Brennan Report—The Foundational Document of the RussiaGate Witch-Hunt
(also known as the “Intelligence Community Assessment” of January 6, 2017)
“Still, we have to wonder why ** Trump doesn’t get the joke. Long ago he could have declassified everything related to the foundational RussiaGate document. That is, the [widely-praised-for-partisan-political-reasons but evidence-thin guesstimate] of January 6, 2017, ‘Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections’.
[“Handpicked” Authors = Handpicked Conclusions]
“The report … is now well-understood to have been written by outgoing CIA director John Brennan and a hand-picked posse of politicized analysts from the CIA, FBI and NSA. It was essentially a political screed thinly disguised as the product of the professional intelligence community and was designed to discredit and sabotage the Trump presidency.
“As presented to the President-elect and released to the public in declassified form, it is all gussied-up with caveats, implying that the real dirt is in the “highly classified” version of the report. Except that’s just the typical Deep State hide-the-ball trick: When it can’t prove its “assessments” and “judgments”, it claims the evidence is top secret.”
For a preview of what to expect when the House Intelligence Committee changes hands next month, check out soon-to-be chair, Adam Schiff, telling Ray three days after Trump’s inauguration that he could not share with Ray the evidence of “Russian hacking.” https://raymcgovern.com/2017/01/31/thats-bogus-ray-mcgovern-pwns-congressman-schiff-on-russian-hacking-fairy-tale/
And as for Schiff’s ability to separate fact from friction, this clip shows astonishing gullibility on Schiff’s part.
Maybe Trump Does Get It; That It’s No Joke
**Stockman writes, “We have to wonder why Trump doesn’t get the joke.” Ray suggests that, as President Ronald Reagan’s Budget Director, Stockman did not have to pay much heed to the Deep State, so long as he did not demur on the obscenely excessive budgets given to the FBI, DOJ, CIA, NSA, and the Pentagon.
With President Trump it’s a different kettle of fish — piranhas. Trump has ample reason to fear that the Deep State is out to get him because it is. And by this point he seems to have internalized quite enough fear that it would be dangerous to take on the intelligence community. Needless to say, the stakes are exceedingly very high — for both sides. Even if, as seems likely, Trump dismissed the usual warnings as to how things work in Washington, he could hardly have missed Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s attempt to ensure that Trump knows what he should be afraid of.
Trump: Not Afraid? Then ‘Really Dumb’
On Jan. 3, 2017, three weeks before Trump took office, Schumer told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, that President-elect Trump was “being really dumb” by taking on the intelligence community and doubting its assessments on Russia’s cyber activities:
“Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer told Maddow. “So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”
Schumer’s words came just three days before then-National Intelligence Director James Clapper and the heads of the FBI, CIA, and NSA descended upon the president-elect with the misnomered “Intelligence Community Assessment” — a rump, evidence-free embarrassment to serious practitioners of intelligence analysis, published that same day, alleging that Russian President Vladimir Putin had done what he could to get Trump elected.
Adding insult to injury, after the January 6, 2018 briefing of the president-elect, FBI Director James Comey then asked the others to leave, and proceeded to brief the Trump on the dubious findings of the so-called “Steele dossier” — opposition research paid for by the Democrats (and, according to some reports, by the FBI as well) — with unconfirmed but scurrilous stories about Trump cavorting with prostitutes in Moscow, etc., etc.
‘This Russia Thing’
It seems to have taken Trump a few months to appreciate fully that he was being subjected to the classic blackmail-type advisory previously used with presidents-elect by the likes of J. Edgar Hoover. Indeed, likely as not, this may be what Trump (his own worst enemy when he opens his mouth) had in mind when he told Lester Holt in May 2017 that he had fired Comey over “this Russia thing.”
In fresh news today, Comey has dropped his unprecedented legal maneuver to have a court quash a subpoena for him to appear for a closed-door deposition to the the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee. Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte, R, VA, had decried Comey’s use of “baseless litigation” and called it an “attempt to run out the clock on this Congress,” a reference to the very short time left before Democrats take control. Goodlatte added that a transcript of the closed-door deposition will be released “as soon as possible after the interview, in the name of our combined desire for transparency.”
The closed-door deposition is now scheduled for Friday, December 7, the 77th anniversary of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. By all appearances, the committee has the goods on Comey. And, most important: The Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA); so the until-now secret FISA application “justifying” surveillance of Carter Page is almost sure to come up.
But don’t look for any surprise attack on Comey this December 7 from Judiciary Committee members, vulnerable though he is . With just a few days left before Congress adjourns, House Republicans, like their President, have pretty much let the clock run out on them. Few will see much percentage at this late date in “taking on the intelligence community.” Trump has already pretty much thrown them under the bus.
Congressional Timidity Rivaling Trump’s?
On September 17, 2018 President Trump boldly ordered “immediate declassification” of Russia-gate materials, including FISA-related material. (See:
Four days later he backed down, explaining that he would leave it to the Justice Department’s inspector general to review the material, rather than release it publicly.
(See: https://raymcgovern.com/2018/09/21/trump-flinches-again-lets-himself-be-slow-walked-see-item-immediately-below-by-deep-state-throws-devin-nunes-and-other-committee-chairs-under-the-bus-unless-until-he-changes-his-mind-again/ )
What’s in the FISA application? House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes knows. In July he expressed hedged confidence “that once the American people see these 20 pages, at least for those that will get real reporting on this issue, they will be shocked by what’s in that FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] application” to surveil Carter Page, an American citizen, and member of Trump’s campaign team.
The leadership of the three House committees with purview over Russia-gate matters — Judiciary, Intelligence, and Government Operations — changes next month when the Democrats take over the House. So while, earlier, Friday seemed to be shaping up as a key day for Comey — and for getting answers to questions on Russia-gate — what is likely to emerge will land with an anticlimactic thud. Even if the committee is able to expose additional misdeeds not already known, nothing much is likely to happen before Christmas. And after that, the three committees and their aborted work will be history.
The dominant mainstream media narrative about Russia-gate — ignoring FBI-gate — will hop happily into the new year. And no congressional “oversight” committee will dare step up to its constitutional duty, despite a plethora of documentary evidence on FBI-gate. And why? Largely because “they” of the Deep State “have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”
Most important of all, any significant improvement in relations with Russia will remain stymied. And the MICIMATT (Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think Tank) complex, with its Deep-State enforcer, will have won yet another round. Merry Christmas.