The media’s attempts to sanitize the political espionage against Trump just make it look worse.
The media’s cheerleaders for the investigation into the Trump-Russia fable claim that its importance lies in keeping American elections pure of foreign interference. They have been posturing as great defenders of American sovereignty, a stance that normally makes them uneasy. But even as they pretend to worry about foreign interference, they seek to sanitize an investigation that is the product of foreign interference: the Obama administration, according to increasingly desperate reports, relied on the “intelligence” of a shifting array of foreign spies and diplomats to launch its probe into Trumpworld.
Such reliance is supposed to make the investigation sound more credible, as if Hillary’s supporters in the Obama administration were loath to undertake the investigation but only did so after receiving devastating intelligence from “trusted allies.” That reliance, instead, shows the investigation to be even more slipshod and unfair, the poisoned fruit of an international liberal elite gunning for Trump. What emerges from these deliberately leaked stories from the Obama holdovers — the latest installment is the New York Times’s pathetic story about the probe stemming from the gossip of an Australian diplomat who partied with Trump volunteer George Papadopoulos — is a picture of Hillary supporters, at home and abroad, seconding each other’s anti-Trump hysteria.
It is obvious that the Times article comes from Obama holdovers who want to divert attention from ex-British spy Christopher Steele, now that he has been exposed as a paid dirt-digger for Hillary. Until that exposure, the media had been describing Steele as a “trusted” source and didn’t seem to mind staking the Trump probe on his work. Suddenly, the Times is insisting that he is irrelevant and that the FBI only talked to him out of an abundance of caution (never mind that that entailed flying over to Europe to speak with him). The paragraph in the article concerning Steele reads like an FBI press release designed to minimize his input into the investigation. But for all we know the “intelligence” to which these murky reports allude is just regurgitated versions of the Steele dossier. We know that he was shoveling his supposed findings to his old friends in the British intelligence, who in turn disseminated them to others, starting with the British press, which is why many of the first stories on the Trump probe percolated up from British news outlets.
In typically misleading fashion, the Times, trying to get people off the Steele scent, headlines its piece, “How the Russian Inquiry Began: A Campaign Aide, Drinks, and Talk of Political Dirt,” even though the contents of the piece don’t prove it. The article in a roundabout way acknowledges that the probe had multiple roots, beyond what an Australian diplomat heard from Papadopoulos, whatever that was. The piece, by the way, doesn’t bother to tell us, at least not with any specificity, except to say that it was a “startling relevation” to the effect that Russia had “political dirt on Hillary Clinton.” That sounds prosaic, not startling. Was it really news to the Australian diplomat that Russia collects dirt on world leaders? If the FBI probe really did come from what the Times laughably calls the “firsthand information” of an Australian diplomat boozing with a twentysomething Trump campaign volunteer, it is more lame than previously thought. How is listening to the speculative bragging of a campaign volunteer “firsthand information”?
This story — that one of America’s “closest” intelligence allies tipped off the Obama administration to Trump-Russia collusion — has been floated in various forms over the last year, with different countries unfriendly to Trump mentioned: Estonia, Sweden, Great Britain, Denmark, Germany, France, and now Australia. But they haven’t added up to anything, save evidence of mass, self-reinforcing delusion among people of like mind — one group of “trusted” people talking to another group of “trusted” people, from which an utterly untrustworthy investigation has come. “Trusted” has become nothing more than a euphemism for membership in the same ideological club.
Hillary, far from the victim of foreign interference, was the beneficiary of it. She had not only the John Brennans working for her but also the Christopher Steeles, effete diplomats, and other assorted foreign busybodies. The media says repeatedly that the American people deserve government elections untainted by foreign meddling. Shouldn’t that also apply to government investigations of candidates? The real lesson of 2016 is not that foreign powers try to influence American elections with espionage — that happens all the time — but that our own government, seeking to stop Trump, joined them in it.
Hon. Kevin Rudd MP, Prime Minister of Australia, with Secretary of State Clinton in 2009 (Wikimedia Commons)