The drama lurches towards an inevitable showdown at the BS corral.
The author is a prominent American social critic, blogger, and podcaster, and one of our all-time favorite pessimists. We carry his articles regularly on RI. His writing on Russia-gate has been highly entertaining.
He is one of the better-known thinkers The New Yorker has dubbed 'The Dystopians' in an excellent 2009 profile, along with the brilliant Dmitry Orlov, another regular contributor to RI (archive). These theorists believe that modern society is headed for a jarring and painful crack-up.
You can find his popular fiction and novels on this subject, here. To get a sense of how entertaining he is, watch this 2004 TED talk about the cruel misery of American urban design - it is one of the most-viewed on TED. Here is a recent audio interview with him which gives a good overview of his work.
If you like his work, please consider supporting him on Patreon.
The media branch of “the Resistance” wet its pantsuits last Friday when Robert Mueller released sentencing memos on Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, the human keys to the dungeon they would like to toss Mr. Trump into. Over in the House of Representatives, incoming Judiciary Committee chair Jerrold Nadler worked himself into a rapture as visions of impeachment lap-danced in his head. Their victory gyrations may prove premature.
The memos themselves were not all they were cracked up to be. Despite Mr. Mueller turning the screws of federal prosecution on them for months on end, neither Manafort or Cohen has composed the narrative the Special Counsel wants, so the memos were, in effect, an attempt to run some high voltage through the screws, to goose out a last-minute change-of-heart in the two patsies. Manafort has been stuffed into solitary confinement and Cohen threatened with forty years of jail time, Their stoicism so far suggests this is not the triumphal climax that the spinners of RussiaGate seek.
Mr. Trump’s response to all this has seemed, at best, retiring and ineffectual. He’s actually done next to nothing to fight back, besides some juvenile tweets, issued perhaps to alert his antagonists that he’s paying attention. Given the lack of evidence for the basic predicate of RussiaGate — that the Trump election campaign “colluded” with Russia — and the abundant evidence of crimes against Mr. Trump by his adversaries in prosecuting this fraud, and the legal machinery silently in motion backstage of RussiaGate — there’s a lot of room for the story to flip upside down.
For instance: the matter of General Flynn, the sacked National Security Advisor, who got his charging memo the week before last. The terms were surprisingly lenient: no jail time. The public, egged-on by the Resistance media, is led to believe that Gen. Flynn handed Mr. Mueller a wooden stake to drive through the Golden Golem’s wicked heart and was aptly rewarded. Gen.
Flynn has said almost nothing for more than year and the impression of him in the media is of a completely beaten-down, broken man. I’m sure the ordeal has been grotesque for this once-powerful warrior. But his breakers forget that Gen. Flynn himself was an experienced spook who ran the Defense Intelligence Agency, an outfit possibly more secretive and potent than the CIA and the FBI. We might assume that he still has friends and supporters there, and that Gen. Flynn may be sitting on interesting intel of his own on his inquisitors, ranging from the election misdeeds of the FBI and DOJ in 2016 all the way back to the Chief Inquisitor’s (RM’s) actions in the Uranium One scheme that funneled over $150 million into the Clinton Foundation, and also to manifold irregularities in the Obama White House around these matters.
Gen. Flynn may actually have the goods on the fraud behind his own prosecution — namely, proof of exactly how he was set up by Mr. Obama, in particular his own tapes of conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that would show something different than the transcripts Mr. Mueller used to entrap him on Lying-to-Federal-Prosecutors rap.
That theory raises the question: why did he not use it in his own defense. The answer may simply be that he didn’t want to rack up $2.5 million in billable hours for defense attorneys and chose instead to tough it out for nearly two years until he could use the information he has. And that means he must wait until final sentencing when his case is complete.
That appears in the offing, perhaps even before Mr. Mueller releases his much panted-over final report. Of course, Mr. Mueller may have absolutely no idea what Gen. Flynn has got on him — hence the speculation about why the charging memo was so lenient. But that line of reasoning suggests that Gen. Flynn will just forget about the disgrace Mr. Mueller put him through and let bygones be bygones. That’s not how warriors roll. More likely, Gen. Flynn has something more severe in mind. For all of his horse-faced gravitas in the photos of his fleeting sightings, Mr. Mueller does not look to me like a man in a comfortable situation.
Mr. Comey will be making a return visit to the House committee where, last week, he weaseled his way through seven hours of forgetfulness, and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch will make her long-overdue first appearance to do some ‘splainin’ about the fishy confab she held with Bill Clinton on the Tarmac in Phoenix around the time that Mr. Comey was preparing to drop the “matter” involving Mrs. Clinton in July of 2016.
Backstage for the moment, there are two other vectors in motion: whatever Mr. Huber is up to in his mission to examine all those FBI / DOJ ? CIA operations against Mr. Trump, and the parallel inquiry of Mr. Horowitz, the DOJ Inspector general. Mr. Huber will be heard from for the first time this week, and Mr. Horowitz’s report is expected soon, too.
Finally, there is the Trump card, so to speak: the president’s power to declassify reams of documents that will shed light in all of the dark chambers of this fairy-tale castle. Wait for it….