PissGate: What We Know, What We Don’t, And Where We Go From Here
Um…what the fuck is going on?
Either there are credible reasons to believe that the next President of the United States is severely compromised by a foreign adversary. In other words, a stooge.
The Intelligence Community, through strategic leaks and disinformation, is attempting to undermine the legitimacy of the next President of the United States.
Both would be bad.
Let’s back up a bit. On Tuesday night, CNN reported that President Obama and Emissary From The Heart Of Darkness Trump received a classified briefing that included a two-page synopsis of, what, rumors (?) concerning Donald and his ties to Russia. Yesterday, above the bleatings of the Fascistic Cheeto, Vice President Biden and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper confirmed that this briefing took place.
Also on Tuesday night, Buzzfeed released a 35-page dossier that had been prepared by an ex-British intelligence containing a number of explosive charges against Donald and a number of his advisers and campaign officials. How many people were aware of these memos before they were made public? How widespread were the rumors of a compromising Trump sex-tape? I heard some of the more lurid details months ago, and I’m nobody (not the Golden Showers part. I mean, I heard “perverted sex acts”, but not what they specifically were. So thanks for that, Universe).
This report was prepared by Christopher Steele, a former MI6 agent with over 20 years of experience with the Russians. So this isn’t just some guy. He’s a man with credibility within the intelligence community, at least enough to get his work an audience with our own classified intelligence services, who are now, apparently, investigating them.
According to the BBC, on October 15th, the US secret intelligence court issued warrants to investigate two Russian banks and three Trump associates. The inquiry is looking for transfers of money into the United States and, specifically, the Trump campaign, which would be super illegal. This was the result of months of intel from multiple sources, including a number of European intelligence agencies. This report also alleges the existence of a separate tape of a conversation about money flowing from the Kremlin into the presidential campaign.
Yesterday, English-language Israeli news site YNet reported that after the election, American intelligence officials warned Israeli intelligence agencies not to share top-secret information with the Trump administration, as it would inevitably end up in the hands of the Russians, and thus Iran. These same officials also claimed that Russia had “leverages of pressure” over Trump, but declined to elaborate on what exactly that meant.
Last night, David Ignatius from the Washington Post wrote that according to a senior US government official, Ret. Gen. Michael Flynn, who Donald tapped to be national security adviser and has a number of connections to the Kremlin, “phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other measures in retaliation for the hacking”. It is unclear why he did that or what the two discussed.
You know how a “senior US government official” would know that this phone call happened? If Flynn was under FISA surveillance.
So that’s where we’re at. Got all of that?
Yeah, neither do I.
It’s impossible to know what to make of all this. The primary question, of course, is whether or not Trump or his advisers have been compromised by the Kremlin. Did they accept Russian aid in order to win an election? Some would say “Well, where there’s this much smoke, there has to be fire, right?” But I don’t even know if we see smoke right now. It seems more like we smell something that might be smoke, but also could just be in our imaginations (or wishful thinking, if, say, you really really really don’t want Donald Trump to be president).
As a number of intelligence analysts have noted, if the President has been briefed on some this information, then it ain’t nothing. They could run these claims into the ground and turn up jack, but they believe they are possible/credible enough to call the President’s attention to them. The IC doesn’t bring complete nonsense to the President. As DNI Clapper said in a statement Wednesday night that was intended to reassure Donald that the IC hasn’t gone completely rogue, the intelligence community “has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable”. That’s not exactly a definitive exonerative statement.
The public is flying blind here. There is no modern historical precedent for such a situation. It is quite possible that we are in the opening days of the biggest political scandal in American history.
Also possible? This initial dossier was leaked by the Russians to either further undermine our democracy (mission accomplished either way, my dudes) or to muddy the waters for even greater revelations of Trump’s ties to Russia.
Something stinks here. Trump’s continued subservience to Putin’s will and reliance upon Russian public statements as proof of his innocence sure is…fishy. Also he keeps bashing the intelligence community, which is also not good. He also says he has no loans from or deals with Russia, but has offered zero proof to support this assertion. History also dictates that we should take no statement from the Trump camp at face value.
But we have no evidence from the intelligence communities either. They haven’t shown us their work. How they know what they know (or don’t know). Like I said, this is a wholly unprecedented situation. You would think that if our government was secure in its findings that next president is not a Russian stooge, they would just come out and say it, not only to mollify the country but the global community. A Russian Puppet in the Oval Office would be the most destabilizing international event since World War II. On the other hand, who the fuck knows what they would do?
But if they don’t have it, they need to tell the world that they don’t have it.
None of this is happening in a vacuum. There is no way that the US intelligence community is the only one investigating this. We already have indications that agencies from all over the world are on this case. The world will get to the bottom of this. But we have to be prepared for the possibility that all these very smart people are chasing a phantom. We just don’t know yet.
All we do know is that the man ascends to power in one week, and we all have a lot more questions than answers.