Where there’s Smoke

Last week, President Trump met with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, as we all have heard ad nauseum for the last 7 days. It’s been a constant flow of verbal diareah from anyone within reach of a smartphone or news crew. Each syllable spoken in that news conference has been dissected,scrutinized, criticized, or celebrated non-stop since the moment they were uttered. 

  I’ll admit, upon first hearing the President’s comment about the Intelligence community, I cringed a bit. Open criticism of our institutions just isn’t typically done here, much less in front of a foreign head of state.  However, if you consider his statement objectively for a moment, which will require you put down your virtue signal or suspend godlike images, whichever you typically cling to, for just a moment, you can see there’s a valid point to be made here.

Admit it. We are a fickle people with the working memory of a goldfish when it comes to politics. There are people jumping to utter condemnation and screaming for impeachment over the very notion that the President doesn’t trust our Intel community. So, let’s look at the track record of that community and see if the President’s remark was well founded or mere hyperbole.

We know for a fact that the NSA was using a global electronic surveillance web, under the guise of counter terror. Despite all feigned shock and outrage to the contrary, it had been a well known and well kept secret since Eisenhower was in office.

We also know that CIA has had integrity issues as far back as 1959. Bay of Pigs, Gulf of Tonkin, Air America, and more recently, the erroneous reports of WMD in Iraq, George Tenet having to admit to Congress the catastrophic mishandling of information regarding 9/11, Brennan’s congressional hearings on torture at Guantanamo Bay, and the fiasco in Benhazi are all well documented epic fails on the part of CIA.

The FBI, our flagship intelligence and investigative arm of the Dept of Justice has also had it’s share of  credibility issues. J.Edgar Hoover was well known to keep  potentially damaging personal files on people from all levels of government, including President Kennedy  and Attorney General Robert kennedy. 

The recently released inspector generals report scratched into what has produced evidence of a prosecutorial bias that would, in my opinion, derail any prosecution if presented at trial. The most disconcerting part of this is that the issue is not with the rank and file field agents. It exists in the leadership of the agency itself.

Even the Congressional intelligence oversight committee has had integrity problems. It’s come to light that despite prolonged discussion and agreement within the committee to preserve and adhere to the confidentiality of information, documents related to the investigation have been leaked.  The problem is so serious that Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina recently quipped “I have yet to see one scintilla of evidence that this president colluded, conspired, confederated with Russia, and neither has anyone else, or you may rest assured Adam Schiff would have leaked it,”

  Esteemed statesman Henry Kissinger once said “even the paranoid have enemies”. This flippant display of his dry sense of humor contains a grain of truth. As this investigation drags on, it’s becoming more clear that some of the people in the upper echelons of the intelligence community we’re not only vehemently opposed to Donald Trump ascending to the Presidency, but it also appears as though at least see of them engaged in a more hands on approach at preventing that from happening.  This is exactly why the President seeks to Drain the Swamp.