The obstructing ink of our politicos is thicker than ever, the darting evasions harder to follow, in figuring all of the misconduct from all the actors in the fiasco that was the 2016 Presidential election.

The principal charge leveled in my recent article on the conduct of the Democratic Party in this affair, based on what is known thus far, was to cite Carl Sagan’s truism: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” No such evidence yet exists to support Democratic calls for President Trump’s impeachment.

Now, the Republican leader of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, charges the FBI with illegal domestic espionage. GOP Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania went so far as to say: “You think about, ‘Is this happening in America or is this the KGB?’ That’s how alarming it is.” These are absolutely extraordinary accusations, with no extraordinary supporting evidence made publicly available. Pot-Kettle-Black.

Nunes’ charge is no clearer after the publication of his memo outlining his concerns. With over 90% of Congress made up of attorneys, measure and precision in language and concept should be reasonable expectations. It is an open question whether measure and precision in any aspect of the polarized American political landscape is possible. In and of itself, what does this do to the lawfulness of our nation of laws? The murk of this scandal is a product of the environment.

In opposing the charges contained in the memo, the FBI has expressed concern of detail and context, and fret over the public’s ability to process the accusation. The last is amazing tone-deafness from an intelligence organization now accused, whatever the merit, of illegal, politically motivated domestic spying. Next time this sort of thing comes up, Americans should take notice that it amounted to a giant fizzle. There have been no upticks in psychotic breaks reported by the nation’s ERs from Americans struggling to conceive how venal their leaders are.

In opposing the memo’s release, the Democrats cited concerns over secrecy and national security. This would be a Chubby Checker twist from their position on how unimportant was candidate Hilary Clinton’s abuse of that same national security, with her homespun insecure email server.

The Republicans bleat about the traitorous activity of Hilary Clinton, but were struck mute when Donald Trump hired a catspaw of Vladimir Putin’s catspaw to run his Presidential campaign. Let this fact just sink in: … Donald Trump hired Paul Manafort to run his Presidential campaign. A man who was hired by a pro Russian Ukrainian government. Russia is the sole nation that has the power to destroy us. And Manafort’s “political advice” was (apparently) in helping quash a popular movement desirous of greater integration with the Western world order. The outcome of which was deemed such a national security threat to Russia that they invaded Ukraine.

The Republicans’ concern of FBI persecution must also accommodate the uncomfortable fact that the FBI is also investigating a literal Turkish spy (an unregistered foreign agent) who was appointed as NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR . Flynn was paid for services rendered by Erdogan’s Turkey, now a full-fledged dictatorship. And they stand in complete philosophical opposition to our project to democratize the Middle East. Turkey has thrown a lot of sand in our Middle East jam-works, such as we’ve foolishly tried to achieve. Here is a video of the Russian Air Force, not ours, smashing the border fuel smuggling operation that funds ISIS, that medieval beheading operation of Islamic extremism (the other one, not the Saudis). Watch it to dispel all doubt of Turkish duplicity towards our aims. The possibility also exists of Turkey bombing our special forces advisors attached to the Kurdish Peshmerga.

These are people you want the FBI looking at. The Republicans complain of a rod they, and their President, made for their own backs. There is no evidence anyone is “deep state illegally surveilling” Mike Pence.

This all, from the party that led the nation to preemptive war, on their word of an imminent threat.

The Republicans frustration with secrecy from the FBI must also accommodate the fact that any openness from the FBI would result in public leaking for political advantage, like we just saw with this Nunes memo affair.

One has to wonder if constant militarism on an undefinable enemy (war on the noun “violent extremist”), inevitably results in everything political becoming related to national security. It would seem a matter of karma that the ink cloud of our rules on domestic spying results in secret intelligence becoming weaponized for political gain. And unprovable, base-feeding claims of secret persecution would follow as night follows day. Now it is an open, and imperative question, whether the FBI’s intelligence collecting power has been politically weaponized as well. Answering that question requires the same patience for the same professional investigation as awaiting investigations into other aspects of President Trump’s betrayal of national security (the ones not involving his appointees to high office).

Let’s hope this karma does not extend to Bin Laden’s promise to undo the USA by making us come to war with him and his philosophy. It’s easy to imagine he, along with Putin, being most pleased by all of this undoing. And they achieved our havoc while being dead, and while doing (possibly) nothing.

Now there will be political opacity galore, on top of the clash-of-Titan-lawyer-arms-race uncertainty that’s been a fact of the American political landscape since the Clinton (the first, Bill’s) imbroglio. Are endless secret investigations going to be yet another permanent layer of obstruction between the political class and America’s people (thus being self-serving)? You have to think so, since Congress just recently, overwhelmingly, re-authorized this sort of opaque national security spying.

It has to be remembered: at this point, we are relying on spins of secret intelligence and leaked morsels of investigations nobody but the spinners have seen. The honest stewards of the secrets cannot rebut out of duty. And after the debacle of the intelligence failures of the Iraq invasion, which set the most volatile region on the planet ablaze, for my life I cannot tell why anyone would entertain any credence to any closed investigations until clear facts can be written in stone, sworn and confirmed in objective courts of law.

This fiasco upon fiasco is what the damage of weaponized secret investigations and intelligence gathering looks like, with its amnesiac volte-face on national security. It’s really more like several somersaulting, triple-gainer flips, with beached whale flops, and both sides swapping for political expediency with “we have always been at war with Eurasia” ease. Thus, they compromise national security through the politics of national security.

Incidentally, another thing Republicans: forget the Clintons. The Clintons are politically dead, a stake through their hearts, their bodies buried at the cross roads (unless an HRC zombie rises against the Democrats in the 2018 midterms over revelations of misconduct with the FBI).

The nation looks on, horrified, radiating the same disapproval of the political antics and wiles that we have been doing for the last generation, paralyzed as to what to do about it (besides electing President orange-faced-Tweet-gibbon). Madison and Jefferson shout “Amen!” From their exalted perches in heaven about trusting the government’s wisdom and word only. The restraining of government’s power was the genius of their design. In that light, there really is nothing to see here, besides the self-serving misconduct they so fortuitously foresaw. They could look around and see how few George Washingtons there were. The clockwork of American governance continues to work as designed. We would not have survived as the world’s oldest continual form of government if our institutions were not stronger than our individuals.

So the President’s attacks on those institutions should be of greater concern than his attacks on members of the Clinton crime family. And a President’s attacks on the FBI would seem damaging to the institution, where it not President Trump doing the attacking. The FBI are no more dishonored by his insults than a dad standing next to his child at a visit to the monkey cage, who accidentally gets poo flung on him.

For now, the strength of our constitutional design and institutions transcends our dysfunctional partisan politics, but how long can the guardrails hold? That we now need an investigation of our investigation is another indicator of our dysfunction. That we can have an investigation of an investigation is another blessing of our Constitutional design.

Eugene Darden Nicholas

About Eugene Darden Nicholas

Eugene Darden (Ed) Nicholas is from Flushing Queens, where he grew up sheltered from the hard world, learning the true things after graduating college and becoming a paramedic in Harlem. School continues to inform and entertain in all its true, Shakespearean glory. It's a lot of fun, really. In that career, dozens of people walk the earth now who would not be otherwise. (The number depends on how literally or figuratively you choose to add). He added a beloved wife to his little family, which is healthy. He is also well blessed in friends and colleagues.


Like this post?