For two years, the Russia-Trump conspiracy theorists have been saying, “Donald Trump entered into a conspiracy with the Russians to defeat our candidate Hillary Clinton. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, ex-director of the FBI, will bust the conspiracy wide open. You just wait! You’ll see.”
Every week for the last year, hopes were renewed that this would be the week, the one in which Mueller would finally issue his report, which would prove beyond any doubt whatsoever that Trump had become a “Manchurian Candidate,” one who was doing the bidding of his communist, or at least Russian, masters. Congress would follow up and save us from going Red, or least Russian, by quickly removing Trump through impeachment.
Mueller, has finally — finally! — issued his report. Unfortunately, however, after two years of trying his best to do so, he has failed to find sufficient evidence to support the existence of the purported Russia-Trump conspiracy. It all turned out to be a conspiracy theory after all.
The conspiracy theorists are now in shock and depression, unable to believe that their savior Robert Mueller has let them down. They were so certain that he would ferret out the conspiracy and help them to remove Trump from office through impeachment. Although some of the conspiracy theorists are now demanding to see Mueller’s report in the hopes that they will find something to pin their conspiracy hats on, there is no reasonable possibility that they will succeed in removing Trump from office through impeachment. It will have to be done by election, if at all.
The “collusion” thing is what I’ve never understood in this entire controversy.
Yes, I can understand why it would be a crime for Trump to conspire with Russian officials to violate U.S. law. For example, if Trump and the Russians conspired to hack into the Democratic Party’s email account and then the Russians proceeded to hack into the account, I can understand how that would be a criminal offense by both Trump and the Russians.
But the conspiracy theorists were going far beyond that. They were asserting that Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin and other Russians officials were working together — i.e., cooperating — to win the election for Trump. In support of their theory, they pointed out the quite-obvious fact that Putin and the Russians wanted Trump to win and were doing everything they could to help him defeat Clinton.
But I still don’t see what would be criminal about Trump’s talking to Putin and other Russian officials and seeking their advice, counsel, and support in his quest for the presidency. Doesn’t the First Amendment guarantee freedom of speech?
After all, would this principle apply to, say, a British official? Let’s say that when George W. Bush was running for election, he secured the advice, counsel, endorsement, and support of British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Would the conspiracy theorists condemn that? I don’t think so.
So, what’s the difference?
The difference is that we live in an environment of empire, one that has been created by the U.S. national-security establishment. In an empire, there are certain countries that are marked out as “different” or “special” in a negative sense. Such countries are not “enemies” of the United States in the sense of war because there is no war going on. They instead receive such labels as “rival,” “opponent,” “threat,” “adversary,” antagonist,” or, my favorite, a “regional hegemon.”
If a country falls into that special negative category, then the president and the American people are expected to treat it, its officials, and its populace in an arms-length manner. If anyone reaches out to such a country in a spirit of peace, friendship, and cooperation, he is immediately rendered suspect, possibly a spy or a traitor. Or a Manchurian candidate.
That was the mindset throughout the Cold War regarding communist nations, including Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union, Cuba, China, Vietnam, and North Korea. If any ruler failed to show sufficient enmity toward such nations or, even worse, displayed an interest in establishing peaceful and friendly relations with them, the U.S. national security establishment would deal with them accordingly with regime-change operations.
For the Russians, the Cold War ended in 1989. Not so for the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, the three principal components of the U.S. national-security state. Having successfully used the Soviet Union and the supposed threat of “godless communism” to justify the conversion of the federal government from a limited-government republic to a national security state, America’s military-intelligence establishment was bound and determined to keep things that way despite the ostensible end of the Cold War.
And it has largely succeeded in doing so, especially by having NATO absorb former members of the Warsaw Pact and moving NATO’s boundaries ever closer to Russia. And if Hillary Clinton had won the election, which the national-security state and FBI leaders clearly desired, the result would have undoubtedly been another full-blown Cold War, which would have been used to justify ever increasing budgets for the military-intelligence complex.
Trump’s victory threw a monkey wrench into that scenario. Trump was determined to establish peaceful and friendly relations with Russia, just as Mossadegh in Iran, Arbenz in Guatemala, Allende in Chile, and Kennedy in the U.S. were determined to do with the Soviet Union. That’s why they went after Trump. He wasn’t playing the anti-Russia game. And that’s also why Russia was supporting him instead of Clinton. They weren’t playing the anti-U.S. game that the U.S. national-security establishment expected and wanted them to play.
Trump has escaped regime change through impeachment but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been victims in the process of trying to proving this conspiracy theory. There have been several people who have been indicted, vilified, condemned, and punished for violating federal tax and regulatory provisions. The goal was to squeeze them with the possibility of a high jail sentence into providing incriminating evidence of the conspiracy. They now have had their lives ruined and have to spend several years of their lives in a federal penitentiary. If the conspiracy theory had never been pursued, those people would never have been targeted for punishment.
Another victim of this witch hunt has been the young Russian woman Maria Butina, who is still in jail for conspiring to fail to register as a foreign agent, a stupid “crime” if there ever was one, and certainly not one that should be part of what purports to be a free society. The conspiracy theorists were breathlessly asserting that she was a Russian agent, no doubt one who had been sent to prepare the ground for the ultimate conversion of the United States to a Red vassal state or at least a Russian one. In actuality, she was just a naive Russian citizen who believed that she could help improve relations between Russia and the United States. If the conspIracy theorists had any decency, they would demand her release from custody immediately and let her continue to live in the United States and pursue her interests.
Will the conspiracy theorists now abandon their anti-Russia animus? Are you kidding? They are just getting ramped up, especially since the anti-Russia mindset continues to be the driving obsession of Pentagon, CIA, and NSA officials.