Wire Taps and Wild Tales
by Scott · Published · Updated
Remember before we bombed some shit last week? There was a story in the news that seemed kind of important. What was that again? Oh yes, members of Team Trump colluded with the Russians during the election. They were not planning a surprise party for Putin. They were colluding to influence our election in favor of Donald Trump. This story takes more effort to track than big, shiny explosions. But it is more important (at least to me). Let’s review the events, just in case everybody else forgot. Trump’s wiretap claim.
Shortly after the election, we learned that the Russians launched several propaganda attacks during our election. The most serious of these was leaking emails stolen from the DNC. Evidence pointed to the Russians trying to sway the election to Trump. This was not mere speculation. It was the consensus opinion of the entire US intelligence community. The Obama administration knew this before we voted. They kept it secret because they did not want to appear to be biasing the public. I am not sure why they did not trust the media and public. Look at how rationally they reacted to the news of ‘new emails’ to be investigated related to Hillary. Trump’s wiretap claimWith such a serious issue at hand, Trump did what any prudent president would. He attacked the intelligence community. I am not as much of a patriot as your average Tea Partier, but that is bad isn’t it? When more evidence suggested that Trump associates actually coordinated activities with the Russians, the president had to show he took it seriously. The administration called for congressional investigations to uncover the details behind
the serious attack on our electionleaks that made the Trump administration look bad.
President Trump even claimed that President Obama “tapped his phones” before the election. Of course this was an outrageous lie. It was quickly and overwhelmingly refuted. Even Republicans had to distance themselves from Trump’s wiretap claim. But for a man who emits lies like the rest of us emit carbon dioxide it was almost mundane. After all, this was the same guy who said he had the biggest inauguration crowd ever, and that millions voted against him illegally, and that he had an adequately sized penis. Not to leave anything to chance, team Trump built up a defense for the claim anyway.The administration used the right-wing echo chamber to incubate the story. They picked up a tweet from Mark Levin, and said they were just repeating a ‘report’. Each time Breitbart or Fox mentioned the administration talking about wiretapping, the administration said there were even more reports about it. The strategy worked enough to give Trump’s supporters some cover. Every administration has its echo chamber, but the relationship between this administration, Fox News and the fringe right web is more incestuous than a Mississippi family reunion. The echo chamber built up trump’s wiretap claim.So now the story was unmasking, not trump’s wiretap claim, or the actual election meddling.By the time congress started investigating, wiretapping did not seem that important to anyone. In fact the Republicans shifted their focus from leaks to “unmasking.” The public wondered what the hell unmasking was. They were curious why they had not heard the term before. We learned unmasking was the the process of disclosing redacted names from surveillance of foreign targets. It did not sound as menacing as leaking. We wondered why it was the newest scandal.It took a day to find out. House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes discovered stunning evidence that names of Trump associates had been unmasked from surveillance material collected under a FISA warrant. It is almost like Nunes was a psychic. He focused his inquiry on unmasking just a day before discovering an unmasking bombshell. How lucky that a former member of his staff working at the White House had access to the information. And I thought knowing the questions before the debate was a bad thing.This little cluster-bomb of distraction yielded two red-herrings for the administration to deploy. First, they claimed it proved Trump’s claim that his team had actually been the subject of the surveillance (it did no such thing). Second, they shifted focus to the evil unmask-er, Susan Rice. Right wing news outlets were outraged at this highly suspicious behavior. Bill O’Reilly pounced on Susan Rice with almost as much fervor as he would pounce on any completely unsuspecting woman. Why would the National Security Adviser have any interest in the names of people working with Russian agents? Outside of the most dedicated Trump supporters, the only answer was “that is pretty much her job.”
This postis getting to be like “Alice’s Restaurant” by Arlo Guthrie. I have gone round and round but I am not tired (or proud). More importantly, we all need a reminder of what the story is about. The story is about the Russians meddling in our election to sway it in favor of Trump. It is about the possibility that multiple Trump associates worked with the Russians to achieve this goal. The story has taken more crazy plot twists than a Mexican soap opera. Yet 80% of Republicans still support Trump and think this is just another liberal attack.For a group that does not accept the theory of evolution, Trump supporters have no problem with a story that has mutated more in 1 month than the AIDS virus has in 30 years.