Op-Ed by Brian Cates
On February 20 the New York Times published a story based on anonymous sources who claimed they were accurately leaking details from a classified intelligence briefing given by Shelby Pierson, the Intelligence Community Election Threats Executive, to the House Intelligence Committee chaired by Rep. Adam Schiff [D-CA].
The leakers said the intelligence agencies had once again found evidence that the Russian government was making efforts to help the Trump campaign win the next election, just as they supposedly had in 2016 when Trump defeated Hillary Clinton. This anonymous leak was followed just one day later with another anonymous leak to the Washington Post from a different intelligence briefing, only this time the anonymous ghosts mumbling behind the curtains were claiming it was the Bernie Sanders campaign that the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, was seeking to aid.
Both leaks were soon followed by denials from other intelligence officials that Pierson had said anything in these briefings that was remotely close to what the leakers claimed she did. It was disclosed that there was actually no real evidence presented at Pierson’s briefing to support any claim of Russia interfering to help Trump. These leaks are, to be blunt, ridiculous.
Dear SpyGate Hoaxers: You Only Get To Pull That Trick One Time!
The Russia hoax is dead, and any attempt by political partisans inside the intelligence community to launch a RussiaGate 2.0 clone by leaking to their plants inside the DNC Media Complex is not going to have a successful liftoff. You only get to pull this kind of dirty rotten trick exactly once.
The fact that they tried to launch another “Russia Russia Russia!” smear campaign using the exact same playbook while US Attorney, John Durham, at the Dept. Of Justice, is still investigating how they managed to pull this trick off the first time, demonstrates how desperate these people have become.
RussiaGate 1.0 failed miserably in its goal of preventing Donald Trump from winning the presidency. It then failed in its new goal of damaging him sufficiently to remove him from office. And now it appears RussiaGate will also miserably fail at preventing Trump’s reelection, so these desperate losers just attempted to repeat the same strategy that didn’t even work the first time.
It is increasingly apparent at this point that partisans inside the federal intelligence agencies and the United States Congress are attempting to ‘guide’ the 2020 election towards certain candidates and away from others using their usual stupid leaking tricks.
During the recent impeachment hearings, it was career diplomatic personnel who were complaining that the President of the United States wouldn’t take their advice and was making the crucial mistake of taking the nation’s foreign policy in a direction they did not agree with. Trump was supposed to be impeached and removed from office because career swamp creatures who worked under him and for him disagreed with his foreign policy decisions.
Now we seem to have political partisans in the intelligence community and in Congress using classified briefings as a basis for strategic leaks to their counterparts in the news media, and the leaks are based on nothing! They are using these tactics to try to pick the winners and the losers in the 2020 election.
Who needs Russia interfering in US elections when career intelligence people and Democrats in the Congress both have a far better grasp of which candidates should win than the voters do? With a couple of strategic leaks, they can do massive damage to one campaign while boosting another.
It is not a random thing that both President Trump and Bernie Sanders were the targets of these recent strategic leaks from classified intelligence briefings. This is either intelligence officials, members of Congress, or both attempting to damage certain campaigns by creating suspicion of Russian entanglement with leaks that may be based on literally nothing. This kind of behavior is unacceptable, and it cannot be allowed to go any further. Trump is right to call for new leadership in the US intelligence community after these blatant, politically partisan leaks.
He’s off to a great start in finding that new leadership. First he announced that the current Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, would be the acting DNI to replace Joseph Maguire, and then followed that up by tapping Rep. John Ratcliffe [R-TX] to the permanent post.
I have a feeling Grenell is being brought in as Trump’s ‘hatchet man’ for the intelligence community. You know, the guy the CEO brings in to make a host of quick, unpopular moves before departing? He ends up taking most of the ill will with him, allowing the new replacement to step in and assume command without the employees realizing it was actually the CEO who ordered all those unpopular moves.
Once Grenell has cleared the decks for him, Ratcliffe is going to face the daunting task of remolding intelligence agencies into something that serve the needs of the entire country; not just the current needs of one of the political parties.
Given the incisive way that Ratcliffe absolutely eviscerated a hapless Robert Mueller during his Congressional testimony, I believe he is more than up to this task. The President certainly has faith in Ratcliffe’s ability to do this job, tweeting out:
The next time Schiff calls for a briefing by an intel official from one of the agencies so he can take vague statements and LEAK them about "Russia helping Trump", Ratcliffe is going to laugh right in his face. SpyGate and subsequent developments revealed just how politicized these federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies had become under the previous administration.
It used to be understood that sensitive information from intelligence briefings like this was never leaked for partisan advantage. Rep. Devin Nunes [R-CA] followed the law as it pertained to classified information and kept his mouth shut. He refused to leak anything sensitive for over 2 years as he awaited the day of his vindication by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
Contrast Nunes' silence with leaking sieve Adam Schiff. Many commentators suspect they know who played the key role in leaking these classified intelligence briefings to the news media.
An Inept Resistance Has Lost the War
Trump and his team faced what looked like an impossible task in January of 2017; they were effectively about to attempt a hostile takeover of a federal government full of entrenched political partisans disguised as neutral government officials
You have been watching a very public war being waged between the Trump administration and an entrenched Democratic bureaucracy. That bureaucracy fully expected to remain in place and waited for Hillary Clinton to assume control of it in 2016.
After the ‘wrong’ person won that election, “The Resistance” quickly formed and prepared to sabotage the new incoming President and his administration.
The permanent bureaucratic class in Washington now seems to truly believe elections and who wins them are an afterthought. These pompous elites have come to assume the people who should really be running the federal government are unelected and mostly invisible and therefore unaccountable to the voters.
If the President would just stay out of their way, everything would be just fine! But because Trump wouldn’t do that and attempted to assume control of the federal government, he should be impeached or something. This was always an incoherent argument and the passage of time will not make it look any more sensible.
It's Election Interference Alright, But It’s Not the Russians
The powers that be in the Democratic Party know what happens if this upcoming race pits Sanders against Trump. With the economic record Trump is forging, pitting him against a ranting “Democratic Socialist” is likely to get Trump a landslide win.
Therefore, I believe this intelligence briefing was leaked to give ammunition to those who would rather see a more "moderate" candidate win the nomination, such as Biden or Warren.
It appears there was no real evidence the Russians were angling to help either the Trump or Sanders campaigns; the reason these briefings were held was so that they could be leaked in order to cause political damage to certain targeted candidates.
Intelligence officials and the Congressional representatives they interact with are supposed to be focusing on the important job of protecting the national security of this country. This sordid double leaking episode reveals some intelligence officials and members of Congress are far more preoccupied with interfering in the next election than in doing their real jobs.
If that is the case, the Acting DNI, Grenell, will be coming in with the authority to refocus the intelligence agencies on their real responsibilities. That could mean a big downsizing of the National Security Council, among other steps.
As for members of Congress like Adam Schiff? It remains to be seen if he will ever pay any sort of price for the years of blatant leaking he’s been doing.
Brian Cates entered the political arena in March 2012, following the death of Andrew Breitbart. He is currently a political columnist for The Epoch Times and UncoverDC. Brian is based in South Texas and is the author of: “Nobody Asked For My Opinion … But Here It Is Anyway!”