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Scoop of the Year: Proof of a Collusion

theweek.com

The post you are about to read—friends and foes, left and right—is a bit unusual. Unusual for this blog; unusual for this blogger; and unusual for you the reader. If you will join me for the ride, however, I believe you’ll be rewarded handsomely. And in the most unusual of ways. But first, let’s start with the word ‘scoop,’ which among other meanings and usage, is described in the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary simply as “information especially of immediate interest.” For the purpose of our post here, at this time, this description will suffice. As for how convincing a case I’ll be making, and how newsworthy it’ll turn out to be, you’ll be the judge.

You may ask yourself also: What business does this blog have—a blog dedicated normally to the politics and culture of Israel, America, American Jews, and the interaction between these three entities—to the question of a possible ‘collusion’ between the Trump campaign and presidency, and Putin’s Russia? Well… let me tell you. Because it all starts with a new book, written by a well-known Israeli investigative journalist, Ronen Bergman, titled ‘Rise and Kill First, The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations.’ The book is getting rave reviews for its “authoritative and exhaustive history of Israel’s targeted killings of its enemies, the most robust streamlined assassination machine in history,” (Washington Post, January 26), and asks “at what point does violence in the name of self-defense become an end in itself, so addictive to its practitioners… that it undermines the very values it is meant to preserve?” And yet, though this book is serving as our springboard here, it—and the important questions it raises—is not really our business today.

What our business is, here and now, concerning an interview given by the book’s author—who’s highly regarded for his deep knowledge and inside sources of Israeli intelligence—to the NPR program ‘Fresh Air with Terry Gross,’ on January 31. And especially a segment, an exchange towards the end of that most interesting interview (conducted that day by Dave Davies), which is very much related to the question we are probing today, and which is also, to my mind, the business of every person living and working in this land. For that purpose, since you might have missed that interview (which you can probably still find on the NPR website), here’s a short transcript of part of it—limited and condensed (not altered though) to the crux of the matter at hand—as related to our investigation:

Bergman: “… a group of American intelligent officers, in a regular meeting with their Israeli counterparts, just before Trump was elected, and before the inauguration, they suggested that the Israelis stop giving sensitive materiel to the White House. They said we are afraid that Trump or someone of his people under leverage from the Russians, they might give sensitive information to the Russians, who in their term will give that to Iran… And the Israelis were shocked… that the Americans will say something of that kind about their chief in command, about their president… Few months after that, it turned out that all the predictions that the American have made to the Israelis as warnings… everything came to be true! And President Trump apparently gave secret information, and I know the nature of that information: it is indeed delicate, and very, very secret.”

Davies: “… You know of specific information that the U.S. shared with the Russians that is not being revealed publicly and that you are not revealing publicly?”

Bergman: “The nature of the information that President Trump revealed to Foreign Minister Lavrov is of the most secretive nature. And that information could jeopardize modus operandi of Israeli Intelligence.”

Davies: “You are referring to something we don’t yet know?

Bergman: “Most of it we don’t yet know.”

Well, if that’s not a collusion, I don’t know what a collusion is. If that interview is not a proof of it, then I don’t know what proof is. Or what kind of proof is still needed. Worst of all: If that’s not an admission of the leverage the Russians have had, and are probably still having, on President Trump—”under leverage from the Russians,” Bergman said—then I don’t know what leverage is. And therefore, as in the beginning, I will resort again to the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, which defines ‘collusion’ as a “secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose.” I’m not a legal expert, far from it, but for our purpose here, exposing the possibility, if not the certainty of collusion—and conspiracy, complicity, involvement, agreement, knowledge, all words associated with collusion—this will do. And the rest is history.

* The “Leave a Comment” link is the last tag below, in blue.

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Animal Farm: a White House Story

animal-farm-1
Or how I was forced by real, yet surreal events and frightening circumstances, to join the resistance once again. Either way, the message being written on the wall is very clear: Things are not normal in today’s America, following the election and its aftermath, and we shouldn’t pretend—though some good, and not so good people suggest we do—as if they are normal. But hold on a minute, let’s backtrack a bit here for the sake of clarity, and out of the need to bring you all up to speed, so that we can read from the same page. In short: learn how a bad joke became such a sad story.

In England, on August 17, 1945, George Orwell published his allegorical, dystopian novella: Animal Farm, a Fairy Story. In my library I still have the old Penguin Modern Classics edition, which I bought and read in London when I first arrived there for my studies (up above is the cover, as illustrated by Paul Hogarth). In the back cover, it says this in part: “The animals on a farm drive out their master and take over and administer the farm for themselves. The experiment is entirely successful, except for the unfortunate fact that someone has to take the deposed farmer’s place. Leadership devolves almost automatically upon the pigs, (naturally, H.D.) who are on a higher intellectual level than the rest of the animals. Unhappily their character is not equal to their intelligence, (get this? H.D.) and out of this fact springs the main development of the story.

You remember the rest of the story, don’t you? Or can find it out for yourself. Now Orwell is known to have written this book about the Russian Revolution in general, and Joseph Stalin in particular. He was a Democratic Socialist, Orwell, and a fierce critic of Stalin and his “cult of personality,” his style of dictatorship; though it was disguised—to the cheers of many European intellectuals—as enlightened, democratic, sun to the nations kind of a regime. Indeed, I propose to you here that all dictators, and all dictatorships, no matter their names and disguises, are inherently the same, and operate according to the same set of rules. Autocratic by nature, they are all alike: From Napoleon (the name of chief pig on the farm) to Hitler and Stalin. No wonder Putin helped Trump win the election.

Now hang on a minute, before you accuse me of jumping the gun here. Trump won the election democratically, you say, fair and square. (BTY: So did Hitler.) Now let’s see how democratically was it, really, and how fair and square. First, while Trump won the electoral collage, Hillary won the popular vote. What kind of a (rigged) democracy is that? Here are some stats: America, by land area, voted 85% Trump, 15% Hillary; by population, Hillary won 54% to 46%, or even by a wider margin, as by now (and counting) Hillary has more than two million votes over Trump. A democracy, you say? Second: The Russians interfered directly in our election by hacking into the DNC, and by illegally spreading that damaging information through WikiLeaks, and otherwise through a sophisticated operation of fake news online (even Facebook apparently got into the act), and now we hear that they might have interfered with the results of the election in three crucial states as well. The FBI, for its part, first joined forces with the Russians by refusing to disclose their attempts to sabotage our “free” election (and probably by not taking them seriously in the first place), and second by the action of the head of the FBI himself, James Comey, who interfered in the election, and had stopped the momentum of Hillary Clinton’s campaign on its tracks, saying he’s reopening the investigation into her “emails affair,” and a week later saying he’s not. You call that democracy? You call that fair and square?

I don’t. But wait: there’s more. Almost every TV network, every newspaper, every social media outlet would gladly tell you that Hillary Clinton is the fifth major candidate in history to win the popular vote in an American election, and lose the election. But guess what, none of them would ever tell you—why, exactly?—which party these losing candidates were leading: Democratic Party or Republican Party. It drove me nuts, so I did my own research on the matter. And guess what: All five candidates who ultimately lost the election, after winning the popular vote, were leading the Democratic Party. (An exception could be made only for the first one, Andrew Jackson, but not really, because after all he was a democrat, and created the party because the election was stolen from him due to a “corrupt bargain.”) So is that a democracy?

I say NO! I say it is a rigged system, par excellence, designed to favor the Republican Party every step of the way. Just as the Republicans did some major redistricting throughout the land in order to assure them control over the Congress for many years to come. While the majority of the American people have voted for the Democratic Candidate, and are leaning towards the Democratic Party, the Republicans will now have the power in the White House, the Congress, and the Supreme Court. What kind of a s system is that? A broken system, my friends, that what it is. For all these reasons and more, too numerous to count here—not the least among them is the character of the “chief pig on the farm,” who is a bigot, a sexist, and a racist, whose first appointment was of a white supremacist (who reportedly had refused to send his kids to school with Jewish kids) as his “Minister of Propaganda”—we must reject the notion of the appeasers. He is not our leader. The system is rigged against us. Therefore—democratically, civilly and disobediently, in the courts and in the streets—we must resist!

* The “Leave a Comment” link is the last tag below, in blue.

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