. . . and explosions look set fair to continue for a long time to come, with no end in sight.
The release of scurrilous, made-up-out-of-whole-cloth allegations about President-elect Trump by Buzzfeed (and, to a certain extent, CNN) is so over-the-top, even for those organizations, that it was clearly nothing more or less than an organized, deliberate attempt to discredit Mr. Trump before his inauguration next week. It was callous, unfeeling, cold and calculated. I'm absolutely certain those in charge at both organizations knew, beyond a shadow of doubt, that the allegations were not true. Their own fact-checking (such as it was) must have revealed that to them, as it would to any objective observer. However, they didn't care about the facts; they cared only about doing as much damage as they could to a man they despise, even if that damage also hurt the country he will shortly lead. Their conduct was despicable. I think Mr. Trump's promise of 'consequences' for Buzzfeed is entirely appropriate and legitimate, and I hope and trust he has similar 'consequences' in mind for CNN as well. Both organizations deserve it.
I found Glenn Greenwald's comments very interesting. (Remember that Greenwald is the primary conduit through which we've learned much about the Snowden affair.) He's no fan of Mr. Trump, but he nevertheless openly claims that the allegations are the latest manifestations of a 'war' against President-elect Trump by what he calls the 'deep state'. Here's an excerpt.
All of these toxic ingredients were on full display yesterday as the Deep State unleashed its tawdriest and most aggressive assault yet on Trump: vesting credibility in and then causing the public disclosure of a completely unvetted and unverified document, compiled by a paid, anonymous operative while he was working for both GOP and Democratic opponents of Trump, accusing Trump of a wide range of crimes, corrupt acts and salacious private conduct. The reaction to all of this illustrates that while the Trump presidency poses grave dangers, so, too, do those who are increasingly unhinged in their flailing, slapdash, and destructive attempts to undermine it.
. . .
It is not hard to understand why the CIA preferred Clinton over Trump. Clinton was critical of Obama for restraining the CIA’s proxy war in Syria and was eager to expand that war, while Trump denounced it. Clinton clearly wanted a harder line than Obama took against the CIA’s long-standing foes in Moscow, while Trump wanted improved relations and greater cooperation. In general, Clinton defended and intended to extend the decadeslong international military order on which the CIA and Pentagon’s preeminence depends, while Trump — through a still-uncertain mix of instability and extremist conviction — posed a threat to it.
Whatever one’s views are on those debates, it is the democratic framework — the presidential election, the confirmation process, congressional leaders, judicial proceedings, citizen activism and protest, civil disobedience — that should determine how they are resolved. All of those policy disputes were debated out in the open; the public heard them; and Trump won. Nobody should crave the rule of Deep State overlords.
Yet craving Deep State rule is exactly what prominent Democratic operatives and media figures are doing. Any doubt about that is now dispelled. Just last week, Chuck Schumer issued a warning to Trump, telling Rachel Maddow that Trump was being “really dumb” by challenging the unelected intelligence community because of all the ways they possess to destroy those who dare to stand up to them ... And last night, many Democrats openly embraced and celebrated what was, so plainly, an attempt by the Deep State to sabotage an elected official who had defied it: ironically, its own form of blackmail.
There's more at the link. Highly recommended reading, from someone who knows whereof he speaks.
Confirmation of Mr. Greenwald's suspicions appears to come from Mr. Trump himself, who claims that intelligence agencies themselves were leaking information about him and his briefings with them. If his claims are correct (and one assumes that immediately upon taking office, he'll be doing everything within his power - which will be considerable - to verify them), those responsible must know that there will be consequences. I hope and trust that will be the case, because dishonorable men and women of that ilk deserve nothing less.
Those on the far Left who celebrated and supported and trumpeted these 'revelations' have, as far as I know, not yet retracted their affirmation of them or apologized for their statements. Two examples, out of probably hundreds, if not thousands, out there:
Again, such commentators dishonor themselves and everything for which they stand by such ill-considered, gleefully nihilistic outbursts. They should be ashamed . . . but they won't be, of course. I doubt very much whether they know the meaning of the word.
If Mr. Trump should suffer another assassination attempt - whether upon his character, as in this matter, or even upon his person - I'll automatically suspect the 'Deep State' of at least approving of it enough to step back out of the way and allow it to occur, if not actually condoning and encouraging and even - God forbid - aiding and abetting it. That's a horrifying thought, but this latest imbroglio is so outrageous that one can't help thinking the unthinkable.
Please God, I'm wrong.