(I didn’t think so.)
So, why should we embrace the same process — initiated by a Bush administration holdover — when it’s led us to a new Cold War with Russia?
In the early 2000’s, Dick “Dark Side” Cheney requested “raw” intelligence — unvetted by analysts, kept secret from the professionals — to cherry-pick the claims that supported the neocons’ “WMD” and “al Qaeda-Baghdad relationship” B.S., excluding all contradictory evidence.
Thus, Cheney and his neoconservative inner circle were able to bamboozle the mentally lazy, morally feckless George W. Bush into believing the causus belli for Washington’s illegal invasion of Iraq (which resulted in 1.5 million to 3.4 million Iraqi deaths, according to an analysis by CODE PINK’s Medea Benjamin and Nicolas JS Davies, compiling data from a number of sources including: the peer-reviewed 2006 Johns Hopkins’ study which appeared in the prestigious British medical journal, The Lancet; the 2007 study by the British polling firm, Opinion Research Business; the 2011 study by Just Foreign Policy; and the 2015 study by Physicians for Social Responsibility).
In 2016, CIA Director John Brennan did the same thing Cheney had done, only with the intent of convincing President Barack Obama that the Russian government was attempting to interfere with the U.S. presidential election in order to get Donald Trump into the White House.
Brennan was a holdover from the Bush administration. He’d advocated for the use of torture, warrantless surveillance, and rendition, and helped sell the neocons’ bogus case for war to policymakers and the public. When just-elected Barack Obama first tried to make John Brennan, a “loyal Bushie,” his CIA Director, anti-torture and anti-war progressives strenuously objected, and Obama withdrew him from consideration, retaining him as his Deputy National Security Adviser and special Assistant to the President.
In this way, President Obama ensured that Brennan could avoid a messy, far-from-certain confirmation process (“forward looking” Obama, who acknowledged that “we tortured some folks,” bypassed the Senate in order to elevate to new levels of power an unrepentant war criminal from the Bush years).
In his second term, Obama made John Brennan his Director of Central Intelligence, after all (having already conceded much of his presidency to the neocons in his first term, flooding Syria with al Qaeda “rebels” and overthrowing the government of Moammar Qaddafi in Libya).
Per the New York Times, Brennan had already been tasked by first-term Obama with managing the president’s “Kill List.” The Kill List effectively repealed both due process and habeas corpus — allowing any president to target anyone with lethal force, including American citizens uncharged with any crime… on American soil or anywhere else the Chief Executive/Executioner deems necessary.
(So much for the rule of law!)
In his new job, Brennan continued to advocate for torture, illegally hacked the computers of the Democrat-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee investigating CIA torture, destroyed government documents, and continued pushing the neocon agenda, resulting in hundreds of thousands more deaths, in Libya, Syria, and Yemen.
(A John Bolton-like figure, Brennan was one of Obama’s senior-most advisers throughout his presidency, representing a tragic betrayal by the former candidate of “Hope & Change.”)
AND NOW, FOR RUSSIAGATE HOLDOUTS STILL CLINGING TO THEIR CONSPIRACY THEORY, HERE IS THE KEY PART OF THIS STORY (per anti-torture whistleblower, former CIA analyst John Kiriakou, and journalist, Aaron Mate, whose Russiagate-skeptical coverage won him one of journalism’s most prestigious awards, The Izzy, named for the intrepid reporter, I.F. Stone):
In 2016, John Brennan, notorious neocon warmonger and inveterate liar, desperately wanted Barack Obama to believe that Moscow was trying to throw the election to Donald Trump — even though America’s intelligence agencies, including his own, could not support such a conclusion.
So, Brennan, following in the footsteps of Dick Cheney, ordered up some “raw” intelligence to make his case. He bypassed his own analysts and kept his president in the dark, feeding him shit, like a common mushroom… or George W. Bush.
I don’t like it any better than you do, my liberal friends, but facts are facts: Russiagate is a fool’s errand that has only damaged the left and dealt a crippling blow to American journalism, while advancing the neocon agenda and greatly enhancing Trump’s reelection chances.
So, when are mainstream liberals going to stop working for Bush-era neocons and torture proponents, in the service of the far-right’s genocidal agenda?
Despising Donald Trump is not sufficient cause to suspend our critical thinking skills and blithely fall in line behind some of the worst war criminals in American history over a bunch of evidence-free claptrap, with as much legitimacy as “Saddam’s WMD.”
It’s time to grow up and stop treating American politics like pro wrestling. There are villains aplenty, and neither side is pure and good. By and large, both parties work for the same plundering corporations and plutocrats.
Try sticking to principle: Oppose torture-promoting fascists and their baseless wars. That’s as good a place to start as any. Russiagating liberals might find that adhering to a consistent set of values makes for a refreshing change of pace.
Like reading what’s actually in the Mueller Report, partisan liberals just might discover that standing on principle and holding consistent values can be a salutary and salubrious experience, not just a novelty.