So much happens, so much Stormy, tweetrades, Pruitt writing himself checks, Trump obstructing or taking the 5th, Rudy barging in and peeing all over everything, one can miss things, even very big things, perhaps the biggest thing yet, and that is not hyperbole.
The Guardian dropped a very cautiously and meticulousy-written bombshell over the weekend. Essentially, the story asserts that the Trump administration hired or otherwise “engaged,” an Israeli security firm to dig up dirt on several Obama administration officials, aides to President Obama, who provided crucial work leading directly to the final Iranian nuclear deal. Let me say this again, in English, an American president hired private intelligence officers from a foreign nation to find compromising material on aides who worked on a deal which the “hiring president” and the foreign intelligence officials oppose.
Jesus, for the second time in a week, I need remind readers that a crucial – but oft-forgotten part of the Watergate scandal included an order originating high in the Nixon administration to break-in to a psychiatrist’s office to dig up dirt on a political opponent. But that was politics, and, felonious though it was and ever will be, it did not involve heretofore inviolable notions such as “American politics stops at the waters’ edge” and certainly does not call into question whether Israeli officials who support Trump are more “American” (In Trump’s eyes) than real Americans who did nothing but go about doing a job that involved a policy that this president happens to disagree with.
People in the Trump camp contacted private investigators in May last year to “get dirt” on Ben Rhodes, who had been one of Barack Obama’s top national security advisers, and Colin Kahl, deputy assistant to Obama, as part of an elaborate attempt to discredit the deal. The extraordinary revelations come days before Trump’s 12 May deadline to either scrap or continue to abide by the international deal limiting Iran’s nuclear programme. Jack Straw, who as foreign secretary was involved in earlier efforts to restrict Iranian weapons, said: “These are extraordinary and appalling allegations but which also illustrate a high level of desperation by Trump and [the Israeli prime minister] Benjamin Netanyahu, not so much to discredit the deal but to undermine those around it.”
Now I am angry.
If Trump got his ass caught-up in international crime and got impeached because he’s nothing but a two-bit crook, and got voted-in because he allowed the worst instincts of the Republican party voters to be said allowed, fine. Whatever. It’s a disaster, we’ve known it’s a disaster, and that’s that. But it’s a regular disaster.
But, when Trump not only acts as a dictator during his own administration, but believes he is now dictator-enough to attack other Americans to reverse a deal made by an American president, one that a majority of Americans voted for, he’s gone beyond being a two bit criminal, dictator-wanna-be to being a dictator in action, reversing official U.S. policy in a way that only a dictator would think to go about doing so.
rump promised Netanyahu that Iran would never have nuclear weapons and suggested that the Iranians thought they could “do what they want” since negotiating the nuclear deal in 2015. A source with details of the “dirty tricks campaign” said: “The idea was that people acting for Trump would discredit those who were pivotal in selling the deal, making it easier to pull out of it.” According to incendiary documents seen by the Observer, investigators contracted by the private intelligence agency were told to dig into the personal lives and political careers of Rhodes, a former deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, and Kahl, a national security adviser to the former vice-president Joe Biden. Among other things they were looking at personal relationships, any involvement with Iran-friendly lobbyists, and if they had benefited personally or politically from the peace deal.
Oh, of course, set the bait such that the already frothing at the mouth Trump-supporters who are convinced that Uranium One is a “thing” and that Obama and Hillary set up this whole “Russia Hoax” – play right into their natural inclinations, that all this had to enrich the black Muslim president, and couldn’t possibly be a “good deal” intended to do what they said, prevent Iran from getting nukes, as signed-off on by ALL of our European allies, who obviously remained oblivious to the nefarious self-dealing at the heart of the Obama-Iran deal.
As I said, fuck this. This is war, now.
It is near impossible to not engage in hyperbole in discussing anything to do with Trump. But, let me put it this way. I don’t care how many porn stars he screwed and paid. I don’t care that he will be caught laundering money for the Russian mob, at least I can await the findings of the investigation. But, when he starts screwing with American policy set by an American president that I agreed with, happen to think is good policy, and does so in a criminal way, he’s beyond anything I can tolerate a “long investigation” over.
He needs to answer for this, now. Because as far as I am concerned, a president willing to hire foreign spies from the Mossad, to discredit his predecessor and assist in “undoing” a deal that America made, our country made, because he can’t “undo” it with reasoning and overboard, that is more serious than one who can’t say peep about Russia. Circumstances might have put Trump in a compromised position with respect to Russia, but Trump and his own diabolical and depraved personality put himself in this position.
FWIW – the administration has denied the accusations, and as Charlie Pierce at Esquire says, what one takes from that depends on what one thinks of this administration’s credibility. Oh, and Charlie being Charlie, the best at what he does, added this:
That the president* and those around him are capable of stooping to this kind of thing should surprise approximately nobody. In fact, the suspicious mind wanders back to last week, when the president* talked about what he “had” on Senator Jon Tester.
Yes, indeed, now that one thinks about it, the president has made numerous vague references to “exposing” Democratic politicians.