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Monday, December 12, 2016

Pence for president!

Sorry I've been away. Much has been going on in the news, yet I've felt powerless -- helpless -- speechless. Sometimes events are too large; sometimes we feel too small.

You all know that Trump expressed his contempt for the CIA's pronouncement that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. He said that we can't trust the CIA because they were the ones who falsely claimed that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. This remark was allowed to stand unchallenged, perhaps because everyone in the mainstream media now takes Donnie's mendacity for granted. But this claim simply is not true: Dubya had fixed upon the idea of invading Iraq well before the CIA offered its report, which, in 2015, was finally released without an enormous number of redactions. (See here.)

That report indicates that, back in 2002, the CIA bent facts without breaking them. The Agency tried to tell Bush what he wanted to hear even though much of the intel came from Ahmed Chelabi, known to be unreliable. People forget that the CIA wasn't the truly guilty party in the run-up to war: The dirtiest of the dirty work was done by a series of new ad hoc spy shops set up within the Pentagon and DIA.

Well, we can't honestly expect Trump to know that history, can we? He doesn't even want to know what is going on in the world now.

Obama has commissioned the intelligence community to offer a report on Russian interference in the election. This document is supposed to be released before the end of Obama's term -- not much more than a month from now. If the report digs deep, and if Obama looses it upon the world without too many redactions, this "book of revelations" could be the single most significant event of his presidency.

Although the spinners are spinning wildly, we have a good possibility of a bipartisan congressional investigation into the Trump/Putin connection. McCain and Graham are on board. The best outcome: The CIA gives Congress damning information, leading to a quick impeachment. This is indeed "a consummation devoutly to be wished," one which all Dems and many Republicans desire, secretly or otherwise.

I have no faith in the ability of the Electoral College to put things right. The recount efforts are -- were? -- a noble try, but I don't think we will ever  attain that all-important forensic audit of the voting machines and tabulators. That said, we've learned a lot from Jill Stein's laudable effort: For example, we've learned that when evidence of skullduggery is found in precincts in Michigan, those precincts are immediately labeled "not recountable."

A quick impeachment of Donald Trump would result in a Mike Pence presidency. Yes, I'm fully cognizant of Pence's basic ickiness. But he's never going to be the object of a dangerous cult of personality, as Trump is. Mike Pence would lose followers if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue. I don't like Pence, but I don't consider him a fascist at heart. He's just another Republican politician.

It's clear that Trump intends to say "You're fired" to anyone who won't share his hallucinations. It's quite obvious that there will be massive firings at CIA. The Trumpian housecleaning will be more thorough than the one that took place under Jimmy Carter -- but with a difference: Carter got rid of the right people.
It is not possible to gauge precisely how deep fears of retaliation run within the intelligence world. Two currently serving intelligence officers told the Guardian this weekend they had not heard their colleagues express such concerns.

One noted that civil-service laws prevented Trump from launching a purge, but also called attention to a report that Trump is combing through the energy department bureaucracy to identify people “who have attended climate change policy conferences”.

Former intelligence officers told the Guardian they considered retaliation by Trump to be all but a certainty after he is sworn into office next month. Trump still has several appointments to make at the highest levels of the intelligence apparatus, picks which are likely to be bellwethers for the new president’s attitudes toward the agencies.

“There is not just smoke here. There is a blazing 10-alarm fire, the sirens are wailing, the Russians provided the lighter fluid, and Trump is standing half-burnt and holding a match,” said Glenn Carle, a retired CIA officer and interrogator.

“The facts hurt, Trump won’t like the truth, and he will without question seek to destroy those individuals or organizations that say or do anything that he thinks harm his precious grandiosity.”
This is going to get ugly.

In order to have room to maneuver -- and in order to distract the nation from the upcoming revelations -- Trump will have to do something spectacular not long after he takes the oath. Perhaps there will be an all-too-convenient massive terror event. Perhaps there will be planted evidence against the Clintons on some fake charge. Who know? Perhaps he will let his pal Roger Stone conduct an investigation of the JFK assassination. The bottom line: Trump will have to give America a hard whack in the skull -- something so violent that we will temporarily lose our ability to think.

Expect something big and ugly, like Trump himself. Perhaps it will be big enough and ugly enough for Trump to take on the emergency powers he so clearly craves.

In order to save this country, we need a quick, decisive impeachment, followed by three-and-a-half years of bitching-as-usual about Mike Pence.

John Bolton, conspiracy theorist.
You know that the Trumpers are hiding a deep, dark secret whenever they go into Alex Jones mode:
John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who has been floated for a possible role in Donald Trump’s State Department, questioned reports of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.

“It is not at all clear to me, just viewing this from the outside, that this hacking into the DNC and the RNC was not a false flag operation,” he told Fox News’ Eric Shawn on Sunday.

When pressed about his use of the phrase “false flag” and whether he was accusing an entity in the U.S. of involvement, Bolton said, “We just don’t know.”

“But I believe that intelligence has been politicized in the Obama administration to a very significant degree.”
A false flag? Seriously? Bolton wants us to think that Obama and/or the Democratic party would injure Hillary Clinton's electoral chances in order to effect a false flag?

For what freakin' purpose?

I've said it before and I'll say it again: We've entered an era in which every week brings us a new contender for the "Stupidest Conspiracy Theory of All Time" award.

Maybe Pence is already president? Trump defends his inattention to intelligence briefings:
He also indicated that as president, he would not take the daily intelligence briefing that President Obama and his predecessors have received. Mr. Trump, who has received the briefing sparingly as president-elect, said that it was often repetitive and that he would take it “when I need it.” He said his vice president, Mike Pence, would receive the daily briefing.

“You know, I’m, like, a smart person,” he said. “I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years.”
Emphasis added. If Trump's so smart, then why is Pence doing the actual work? I suspect that this is how Donnie got through school -- hiring a smart kid to do his homework. That's Donnie: You know, he's, like, a corrupt person.

What do you think of Craig Murray saying that he knows there was no Russian hacking because he personally knows the one who leaked the e-mails?
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