Okay, let's admit it: The squeaky-clean, above-it-all reputation of our nation's premier intelligence agencies is actually an idealistic fantasy.
During a bombastic news conference Wednesday, President-Elect Donald Trump likened to Nazi Germany the latest slander and smear campaign against him regarding unsubstantiated actions involving prostitutes.
I refuse to write specifics about the sickening accusation, but let me just make a simple observation. During his news conference, Trump mocked the charges, which ostensibly were included in a briefing intelligence officials gave Trump and President Obama. The Russians wanted dirt to compromise and blackmail Trump, the thinking goes. But Trump made a great point: He has been traveling to Russia and Eastern Europe for decades. He told the gaggle of reporters Wednesday that, invariably, he has warned his bodyguards, assistants and everyone else in his entourage that they must be on their best behavior inside their hotel rooms and everywhere else, because hidden cameras and microphones are everywhere -- especially in hotel rooms.
Now, Detective Work 101: If, in this age of social media saturation, instantaneous communication and a thirst for sensationalist material, Trump had actually engaged in the disgusting actions he's accused of, wouldn't there be video up on Youtube and in other places? Certainly. It would spread like wildfire. But there isn't any, simply because the alleged incident never happened.
Trump may come across as a buffoon at times with his brash, brazen personality, but the man is actually highly intelligent. That's something his detractors would rather die than admit. Trump is shrewd; he is not a rube who would get caught up in a scandal like this one, which was obviously engineered by his bitter, hateful enemies.
But I've spent too much time on digression. Here's my real point: For all of the talk about fake news, a corrupt media and the press piling on against Trump all throughout the 2016 campaign and up until right now, perhaps we ought to take a hard look at the intelligence community, too.
First of all, the CIA and FBI have multiple major failures on their track records. In 1998, the CIA was caught off guard by the sudden knowledge that Pakistan had nuclear weapons. This was less than a decade after being surprised and shocked that the Soviet Union fell apart within a period of months. Then there was WMD in Iraq, the death of Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, the Arab Spring, the Boston Marathon bombers...These are just off the top of my head; I am certain there are others. So when it comes to our treatment of the intelligence community, let's dispense with the kind of reverence usually reserved for popes and saints-in-the-making (Mother Teresa comes to mind.)
We have known for many years that virtually all of the non-defense and non-intelligence agencies and departments of the federal government are infested with legions of leftist bureaucrats who will dig in their heels and oppose any attempted conservative reforms. On the other side of the coin, they are rarin' and ready-to-go if a statist extremist like Barack Obama gives them their marching orders (see the abusive IRS and the megalomaniacs at the EPA). Why should we believe the intelligence community is any different?
Sen. John McCain is a military hero and suffered gravely at the hands of the Viet Cong. I respect him for that. But he's losing it. At the risk of incurring the wrath of some of our readers, I wonder if McCain has some psychological problems and a raging disdain for Donald Trump. Or is it envy? Who knows. But McCain seems to be waist-deep in this sordid affair. He apparently received some information from someone in the intelligence community about the briefing Obama and Trump received a few days ago, and then all hell broke loose.
It's easy to dump on the fly-by-night, sensationalist Buzzfeed and pathetic CNN. But that's like throwing the book at low-level street drug dealers when it's the vicious, big-time drug lords who are really to blame. Put simply, there are hacks in the intelligence community who are definitely not unbiased, dispassionate public servants. Indeed, the Inspector General (IG) for the Department of Justice (DOJ) just announced that it will investigate the pre-election actions of the FBI and DOJ regarding Hillary Clinton's email issues.
But it seems to me the IG's concern is whether the FBI and DOJ were unfair to Hillary. Don't hold your breath expecting a similar IG investigation into intelligence hacks trying to undermine Trump. If you have the time and are so inclined, lawyer and journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote a compelling piece about our obviously less than stellar intelligence infrastructure.
I never thought my anger, disgust and cynicism at the federal government would expand to include the intelligence community. But this sentiment has been bubbling beneath the surface, and the events of the past 48 hours have just precipitated a geyser.