By David Stockman
If you were a Martian visitor just disembarked from of one of Elon Musk's rocket ships and were therefore uninfected by earth-based fake news, the culprits in Washington's witch-hunt de jure would be damn obvious.
They include John Brennan, Jim Comey, Sally Yates, Peter Strzok and a passel of deep state operatives----all of whom baldly abused their offices. After Brennan had concocted the whole Russian election meddling meme to sully the Donald's shocking election win, the latter three holdovers----functioning as a political fifth column in the new Administration----set a perjury trap designed to snare Mike Flynn as a first step in relitigating and reversing the voters' verdict.
The smoking gun on their guilt is so flamingly obvious that the ability of the Trump-hating media to ignore it is itself a wonder to behold.
After all, anyone fresh off Elon's rocket ship would learn upon even cursory investigation of the matter thatthe National Security Agency (NSA) intercepts electronically every single communication of the Russian Ambassador with any person on US soil----whether by email, text or phone call.
So the clear-minded visitor's simple question would be: What do the transcripts say?
In fact, a Martian visitor would also quickly understand that the entire world----friend, rival, foe and enemy, alike--- already knows of NSA's giant digital spying operation owing to Snowden's leaks, and that therefore there are no "sources and methods" on the SIGINT (signals intelligence) front to protect.
Accordingly, the disinterested Martian would undoubtedly insist: Declassify the NSA intercepts and publish them on Facebook (and, for old timers, on the front page of the New York Times) so that the truth would be known to all.
Of course, that would punch a deep hole in the entire RussiaGate witchhunt because NSA, in fact, did record Flynn's late December conversations with Russian Ambassador Kislyak. And there was not a single word in them that related to alleged campaign collusion or otherwise inappropriate communications by the in-coming national security adviser to a newly-elected President who was three-weeks from inauguration.
Indeed, as explained below, Mueller has effectively told us that Flynn's communications with Kislyak were clean as a whistle.
Accordingly, there was no reason whatsoever-----as in none, nichts, nada and nugatory, too----for the FBI's January 24th interview of Flynn. Four days after the inauguration, Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and the FBI were wasting the time of the new President's national security advisor for no earthly reason except to administer a "gotcha quiz" on what they knew from the transcripts to be completely innocent conversations with the Russian Ambassador
The content of the calls was entirely about pending policy matters. That is, the UN security council resolution condemning Israel's settlements policy and Obama's belligerent new anti-Russia sanctions. With respect to both of these matters, the incoming President had a publicly known policy position different from the incumbent's, and about which his team was completely entitled to communicate with official foreign ambassadors.
So the January 24th interview itself was a Nixonesque abuse of the nation's law enforcement machinery to strike at a political enemy----albeit a mighty legitimate one who had just become occupant of the Oval Office by will of the American people.
These new-style Deep State "plumbers" who openly broke into the White House that day, in fact, conducted a blatant entrapment exercise with malice aforethought. Its only possible purpose was to bait Flynn into contradicting the word-for-word transcripts in the FBI's possession----intercepts which had been illegally "unmasked" by Brennan's political witch-hunt for Russian election malefactors.
And we use the "illegal" word purposefully to underscore that the only ultimate justice here is for Obama's rogue CIA director to be locked-up.
Brennan's post-election leakathon of phony Russian meddling accusations was so threadbare of valid national security evidence that it even included falsehoods from the completely discredited and ludicrous Steele dossier---which was paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign. And it culminated in the evidence-free screed of January 6th that was nosily presented to Obama as an intelligence community's assessment but was actually a hatchet-job authored by Brennan and a hand-picked silo of anti-Trump analysts and fiction-writers like the now outed Peter Strzok of the FBI.
Issued under cover of the CIA, FBI, NSA and Director of National Intelligence (the confirmed liar, James Clapper), this document amounted to a sweeping abuse of the national security apparatus in furtherance of purely political purposes and vengeance against Deep State critics. It capped a 5-month long, Brennan led campaign of naked political exploitation of the national security machinery that made the Nixon White House look like a Boy Scout Jamboree.
As we will demonstrate below, Brennan never had hard proof of Trump campaign collusion with the Russians to influence the election because if it existed it would have leaked in full "smoking gun" splendor long ag0.
We are referring here, again, to NSA digital intercept evidence that Russian state actors used the internet to remotely hack the Podesta and DNC servers in order to steal and then disseminate their politically embarrassing contents and thereby "influence" the US election in Trump's favor.
Yet aside from the asinine claims about Russian troll farms and trivial amounts of Facebook ads and other such social media monkey business, that's all she wrote. There has been no other tangible allegations of election "meddling" that rise to even minimal plausibility.
And you don't have to be fresh off Musk's Martian rocket ship to recognize it; you can google it yourself, but nothing---we mean--nothing comes up on the screen.
Yet as to the DNC emails, there has already been a compelling demonstration by ex-NSA super SIGNET sleuth, William Binney, that the DNC emails were downloaded on a memory stick by a staff insider from his own computer, not remotely hacked by Russian trolls.
That's because the download speed of 22.7 megabytes per second embedded in the Guccifer publication of the DNC email trove was impossible to achieve from Russia or Romania or anywhere else outside of the DNC offices in July 2016 when the "hack" allegedly occurred. The highest average ISP speeds in the US during the first-half of 2016 were achieved by Xfinity and Cox Communications at 15.6 megabytes per second and 14.7 megabytes per second, respectively, while average speeds on US systems were in the order of 11 megabytes per second.
In short, the embarrassing DNC emails about election-rigging against Bernie Sanders by the Democratic Party apparatus were almost surely sucked out of the DNC's servers by an insider with a thumb drive (which can download at the indicated speeds), not some nefarious Kremlin operative 3,000 miles away.
And as for Podesta's emails, the Donald was surely right all along: Any 400-pound slob on a couch could have hacked an email account protected by a password called, well, "password".
Stated differently, if either of these email troves were "hacked" by remote Russian agents the digital footprint of that action is stored at one of the massive NSA server farms.
Accordingly, it would have been unmasked at the get-go by Brennan's hand-picked apparatchiks, thereby giving rise to another virtual certainty: Namely, such NSA intercepts, if they actually existed, would be such politically radioactive "proof" of Trump collusion that they would have been leaked from the endlessly porous US government long ago.
Moreover, any such digital evidence---which must exist or there was never a hack in the first place---would have drastically foreshortened Mueller's investigation, too. That is, Mueller would have gotten NSA's digital logs the day he opened up shop in May and would have had no other investigative task than to track down any digital evidence of Trump campaign involvement with such a Russian hacking operation.
We say "digital evidence" because unless one of Trump's inner circle traveled to Moscow to secretly collude with the Kremlin in an off-the-grid manner on the DNC/Podesta hacks, NSA would also have the intercepts to prove it. To wit, the schedules, phone calls, text messages and emails of the Trump family and inner circle are all out there in the NSA server farms. Every one of them.
Were there a shred of evidence on these digital logs proving or even hinting at Trump campaign complicity in the alleged DNC/Podesta hacks---it would not have been overlooked by the Brennan's inquisitors; and it would have been dispatched by Mueller's gunslingers in no time at all.
So let's be clear on the matter. The Donald is the ultimate seat-of-the-pants one man show who essentially relies upon his four family members (Donald Jr., Eric, Ivanka and Jared Kushner) and a few trusted advisors. Yet none of them were sent to Russia during the relevant time frame----and had they colluded in any other way Mueller would have nailed them for any untoward digitizedinteractions with the Russians in a heartbeat.
That's right. Anyone disembarking from Elon's rocket ship could also google the fact that only two people----Carter Page and George Papadopoulos--- even remotely involved with the Trump campaign went to Russia or tried to go there.
But Carter Page was a no-count volunteer who went to Moscow on his own dime and who never even met Trump.
Likewise, Baby George Papadopoulos was a 29-year old kid who got drafted onto Trump's foreign policy advisory panel from, apparently, the phone book when the GOP foreign policy establishment boycotted to nearly a man/women the Trump campaign prior to the convention.
Accordingly, Baby George's claim to fame is that he appeared in exactly one photo with the Donald on the day the foreign policy advisory committee was announced in order to appease an endlessly nagging gaggle in the press and among Trump's legions of opponents.
If Papadopoulos had done anything more serious than sit for a photo op designed to prove Trump got his foreign policy advise other than from "watching TV", as the Donald had previously averred, his guilty plea would have hinted at it.
But, no, what Mueller's high priced legal gun-slingers got him on was---again---technical perjury. So as we review Mike Flynn's alleged crimes just recall that the Baby George's sin was to say he meet some dufus UK professor---who was also a phony expert on Russian affairs--- before Papadopoulos was announced as a foreign policy advisor on March 19, 2016.
As it happened, he actually meet him about a week earlier and was therefore truthful with the FBI. But these modern-day, hair-splitting Torquemada's nailed him for the "crime" of not mentioning that he knew on March 10 that he was to be appointed to the Trump committee, and that knowledge somehow colored his March 15 meeting with this no-count English go-between.
You can't make this stuff up!
In any event, how do we know that every word on the Flynn transcripts were perfectly legal and appropriate and did not in the slightest manner compromise so-called national security?
Simple. Mueller's "Statement Of The Offense" tells us so.
In the case of the Russia sanctions conversation Flynn was trying to make peace, and in the case of the UN censure resolution against Israel he was trying to make trouble. But the latter is what presidents and their advisors do all the time, and the former is a wonderful idea that Washington should try far more often.
In fact, just consider the words of Mueller's charge:
"....FLYNN falsely stated that he did not ask Russia's Ambassador to the United States ("Russian Ambassador") to refrain from escalating in response to sanctions that the United States has imposed against Russia. FLYNN also falsely stated that he did not remember a follow-up conversation in which the Russian Ambassador stated that Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of FLYNN's request.
In fact, this criminal charge actually narrates the actual tick-tock of a more peaceful world struggling to be born in real time.
Accordingly, Mueller charges that on December 28th the Russian Ambassador first called Flynn after the Obama White House announced another spiteful round of petty sanctions against Putin associates.
The in-coming national security advisor, in turn, discussed "what if anything, to communicate to the Russian Ambassador" with a senior official of the Trump transition; and according to Mueller's criminal complaint, the two agreed that "members of the Presidential Transition Team a Mar-a-Lago did not want Russia to escalate the situation".
Good for them!
There upon the very same day Flynn dialed-up Kislyak and, as the felony charging document contends, "requested that Russia not escalate the situation and only respond to the U.S. Sanctions in areciprocal manner."
Self-evidently, the wheels of peace began to turn because the complaint notes that on December 30 "Russian President Vladimir Putin released a statement indicating that Russia would not take retaliatory measures in response to the U.S. Sanctions at the time".
Indeed, Russia didn't merely take "reciprocal" actions, as Flynn requested, but did absolutely nothing at all. Even more progress!
Then on the last day of the year, Kislyak called Flynn back and "informed him that Russia had chosen not to retaliate in response to FLYNN's request".
And then there is just white space in the Russia-related section of the charging document. Not a single word or hint that the Kremlin was paying off the Trump Administration for nefarious promises it had made in return for Russia's campaign help.
For crying out loud, that white space itself proves there was not so much as a single clause or veiled code word in the transcripts about pre-election collusion or other untoward arrangements between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin----or the FBI plumbers would have asked about it on January 24, Flynn would have lied, and it would be in the plea deal.
Indeed, the possibility that there is something untoward in the Flynn intercepts which Mueller chose to keep under wraps and did not stipulate in the plea is preposterous in the extreme.
After more than one year of investigation that has produced exactly zero hard evidence of pre-election collusion it is beyond impossible that at long last Mueller would have abjured. That is, refrained from putting a grain of content into what anyone getting off Musk's Mars rocket can see is an utterly bogus Russia meddling case.
At the end of the day, Mueller's perjury did occur in the context of a crime. But the felony was the Brennan-led Russian meddling inquisition.
Especially after the shocking result on November 8, the Deep State and its collaborators and shills in the Democratic Party, official Washington and the mainstream media were not about to be rebuked by the unwashed demos of Flyover America.
Indeed, if you are not caught up in the RussiaGate hysteria and witch-hunt, it's as plain as the noise on your face
To be sure, the perjury trap sprung on Flynn was justified by Hillary partisan, Sally Yates, on the grounds that Flynn's alleged "lie" to the Vice President left him vulnerable to "blackmail" by the Russians.
What undiluted hogwash!
The best poker player on today's international stage, Vlad Putin, finally gets a US President with a rational attitude about Russia, and he plans to burn him day one?
C'mon. Whether she intended it or not or had gamed it out thoroughly, the history records will show that the sanctimonious Hillary partisan and politically ambitious, Sally Yates, then and there killed the best chance for peace on earth since the Soviet Union fell in 1991.
Sally Yates, James Comey and John Brennan are the real criminals here.
As Justin Raimondo so eloquently put it:
Think about it, folks: both the US and the Russians possess enough nuclear firepower to destroy all life on earth several times over. This sword of Damocles is hanging over us by a thread, just as it loomed large during the last cold war with Moscow. It’s a machinery of annihilation that is set on hair-trigger alert, and any number of events could unleash it: a miscalculation, a foolish bluff, a misunderstanding, a technical glitch, a showdown similar to the Cuban missile crisis. All that stands between us and utter extinction is the hope that this apparatus of death can be restrained by mutual agreement. Bravo to the Trump administration for making peace a priority. If this is now a crime, and even “treason,” as the mouth-breathers of #TheResistance would have it, well then let the Washington Inquisition make the most of it.
The point was also underscored cogently by Andrew McCarthy of the National Review.
As McCarthy argues below, differences on foreign policy are essentially now being criminalized;and the Donald's justified desire to shutdown the Brennan-inspired political witch-hunt called RussiaGate is being falsely characterized as obstruction of justice rather than what it actually is----an effort to prevent the Deep State's insidious assault on American democracy from going any further.
While all that plays out, though, behold the frightening thing Mueller’s investigation has become: a criminalization of politics. In the new order of things, policy differences are the grist for investigation and prosecution.Nevertheless, Trump’s victory caused consternation in the Obama administration for two reasons. First, and most obviously, Obama did not want his policies reversed. Second, neither Obama nor his party could abide a judgment of history holding that the election of Trump, the bane of their existence, was a result of the American people’s rejection of the Obama agenda and of Hillary Clinton, the hapless candidate nominated by Democrats to carry that agenda forward........The ongoing Mueller probe is not a good-faith investigation of suspected espionage or other crime. It is the exploitation of the executive’s intelligence-gathering and law-enforcement powers in order to (a) criminalize Trump political policies with which the Obama administration disagreed and (b) frame Clinton’s electoral defeat as the product of a traitorous scheme rather than a rejection of Democratic-party priorities.
Finally, we couldn't agree more with McCarthy that General Flynn is a very foolish man. He was not required to speak to the FBI when agents came to interview him on January 24.
Moreover, as the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency he surely knew that the FBI would have been monitoring Kislyak and that the FBI had recordings of the conversations the agents wanted to ask him about.
That he agreed to submit to the interview anyway, and then to lie, is surely one of the stupidest acts coming out of official Washington that we can recall from 47 years of observation. But perhaps it does explain why America's legions of puffed-up generals have been such abysmal failures for onwards of a half-century now.
So it is fair enough to say that Flynn has no one to blame but himself, and that a person of such poor judgment should never have been chosen to be the president’s principal national security adviser in the first place.
Then again, the American people should also understand why Flynn has gone down and why the Donald's political scalp is fairly waiting to be lofted from the Washington Monument.
To wit, the Deep State has turned its own crimes during and after the 2016 election into nothing less than a coup d' etat against American democracy.
David Stockman is the former Director of the Office of Management and Budget during part of the Reagan Administration, from 1981 to 1985. He is the author of The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America and also The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed and Trumped! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin... And How to Bring It Back.
The above originally appeared at David Stockman's Contra Corner and is reprinted with permission.