After the release of the Horowitz report last week, I've been waiting to see how the reactions shook out, and particularly what emerged after a thoughtful, careful analysis of what it revealed. There's been a lot of breathless hype, of course, and a great deal of partisan political pontification. Nevertheless, as more and more information came out, there's a growing anger and concern across the political spectrum as we've come to see how the "deep State" deliberately plotted to overthrow the result of a democratic election.
I've put together seven articles that I thought made very important points about the report. They're from both sides of the political aisle, ranging from left-wing to right-wing; but because they're reasoned, thoughtful, rational analyses (rather than emotional, knee-jerk responses), they come to remarkably similar conclusions. I highly recommend reading all of them in full to "get the picture", not just the short excerpts I've quoted here. Click its headline to go to each article.
1. The Danger of Making Ruthlessness Seem Reasonable. (Ricochet - published at the same time as the Horowitz report, and relevant to the reactions we've seen to that report, IMHO)
American politics has changed. And more importantly, American society seems to have changed ... At [this] point, no actions, no matter how drastic or ruthless, are off the table. Confronting and shaming people in public. Chasing the families of suspected conservatives out of restaurants. Scaring the families of prominent conservatives. Arresting elderly nobodies like Roger Stone in SWAT raids in the middle of the night, with CNN along to broadcast it worldwide. It seems vicious, but hey, we’re trying to save the world here, so it’s ok. Really. Are you with us, or against us? Are you evil, or nice?
. . .
These people are dangerous. They make ruthlessness seem reasonable.
. . .
The impeachment charade is not a joke. Neither are climate protests, or boycotting businesses suspected of being insufficiently leftist, or economic sanctions against businesses in states that don’t enact your preferred policies regarding transsexual bathrooms. It may seem ridiculous, but it’s not funny.
This is scary stuff. And I don’t see a solution. This is just the way the left does politics now. It wasn’t just Hillary Clinton who learned a lot from Saul Alinsky. The Democrat party has decided that such ruthless tactics are reasonable. I suspect that things will get much worse before they get better.
2. A Prognostication. (Liberty's Torch)
If none of the wrongdoers suffer appropriate legal penalties, why should the average American trouble himself over the law? Why should he concede the smallest groat of cooperation to the “authorities?” You don’t have to be a Certified Galactic Intellect to reason thus. John Q. Public will reach that conclusion quite handily on his own. And except for those who find their habit patterns impossible to break, the public will act on it.
. . .
If no one is called to account for this obvious attempt to overturn the election of 2016...if the FBI, CIA, DoJ, and FISA apparatus are not purged from top to bottom, with the worst offenders awarded long prison terms...if the Democrats and their media mouthpieces aren’t haled before courts of law and compelled to answer for their misrepresentations and outright slanders and libels...there will be an explosion of lawlessness. There will be chaos. And chaos means bloodshed.
3. ‘Corroboration Zero’: An Inspector General’s Report Reveals the Steele Dossier Was Always a Joke. (Rolling Stone)
If the report released Monday by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz constitutes a “clearing” of the FBI, never clear me of anything. Holy God, what a clown show the Trump-Russia investigation was.
Like the much-ballyhooed report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the Horowitz report is a Rorschach test, in which partisans will find what they want to find.
. . .
… the news media essentially reported on the FBI’s wrong reporting of Steele’s wrong reporting … As a result, a “well-developed conspiracy” theory based on a report that Comey described as “salacious and unverified material that a responsible journalist wouldn’t report without corroborating,” became the driving news story in a superpower nation for two years.
4. When Hate Becomes an Agenda. (American Greatness)
Impeachment has turned into a cruel caricature of a rare constitutional remedy for presidential criminality. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report proved a compendium of FBI lying, fraud, and vendetta. There is not a single prominent figure in Horowitz’s lengthy report who has not left a written or video trail of anti-Trump bias (James Comey, Peter Strozk, the Ohrs, Lisa Page, Kevin Clinesmith) or has had some sort of questionable financial relationship with the Clintons or their affiliates (Alexander Downer, Andrew McCabe).
. . .
The prior subtext to impeachment—if not smeared or stopped, Trump will win in 2020 … is [now] shamelessly voiced by leaders in the party such as Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) … Again, the common denominator in all these catastrophes is an existential hatred of Donald Trump—his person, his family, his successes, his agenda, and his supporters. The two writs for impeachment are simply: 1) We loathe Trump 2) He will sabotage our agenda if we don’t impeach and remove him.
5. The Hidden Hand. (And magazine)
The IG report … misses the essence of what just transpired. It is like reading a description of the actions and motivations of a troupe of marionettes in a stage play and missing the fact that they are all simply doing what those pulling the strings make them do.
The FBI did not conduct an investigation of Donald Trump and his associates that ultimately proved to be based on false information and continue that investigation long past the time it should have been shut down simply because some people made some errors in judgment or some procedures need to be changed. That investigation was simply the most visible piece of a deliberate, covert attempt to overthrow the democratic process. The perpetrators of that crime have yet to be brought to justice and identified. Let’s hope that happens soon.
Time for the hidden hand to be revealed.
6. The Inspector General’s Report on 2016 FBI Spying Reveals a Scandal of Historic Magnitude: Not Only for the FBI but Also the U.S. Media. (The Intercept)
If you don’t consider FBI lying, concealment of evidence, and manipulation of documents in order to spy on a U.S. citizen in the middle of a presidential campaign to be a major scandal, what is? … these security state agencies are … out-of-control, virtually unlimited police state factions that lie, abuse their spying and law enforcement powers, and subvert democracy and civic and political freedoms as a matter of course … The IG Report leaves no doubt about it. It’s brimming with proof of FBI subterfuge and deceit…
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But the revelations of the IG Report are not merely a massive FBI scandal. They are also a massive media scandal, because they reveal that so much of what the U.S. media has authoritatively claimed about all of these matters for more than two years is completely false.
. . .
The narrative manufactured by the security state agencies and laundered by their reliable media servants about these critical matters was a sham, a fraud, a lie. Yet again, U.S. discourse was subsumed by propaganda because the U.S. media and key parts of the security state have decided that subverting the Trump presidency is of such a high priority – that their political judgment outweighs the results of the election – that everything, including outright lying even to courts let alone the public, is justified because the ends are so noble.
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None of these journalists have acknowledged an iota of error in the wake of this report because they know that lying is not just permitted but encouraged as long as it pleases and vindicates the political beliefs of their audiences. Until that stops, credibility and faith in journalism will never be restored, and – despite how toxic it is to have a media that has no claim on credibility – that despised status will be fully deserved.
7. Can We Impeach The FBI Now? (The American Conservative)
The current Horowitz Report, read alongside his previous report on how the FBI played inside the 2016 election vis-a-vis Clinton, should leave no doubt that the Bureau tried to influence the election of a president and then delegitimize him when he won. It wasn’t the Russians; it was us. And if you walk away concluding that the FBI fumbled things, acted amateurishly, failed to do what some claim they set out to do, well, just wait until next time.
I recommend Glenn Greenwald's analysis (#6 above) in particular. What he says about the US media is particularly important as we enter an election year in 2020. The media have gone all-in on the Russiagate and impeachment narrative. Now that so much of the false foundation for those lies has been exposed, will they tone down their rhetoric? Or will they double down, and redouble their efforts to drive President Trump from office with a barrage of lies and falsehoods?
I hope for the former, but I fear the latter. 2020 is going to be a long, rough year in US politics, no matter what one's views or party preferences.