“Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.
— Donald Rumsfeld
History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors…
A wilderness of Mirrors.”
— T.S. Eliot, Gerontion*
“You know nothing Jon Snow.”
— George R. R. Martin, Game of Thrones**
“Plus, if Mueller conducted this (counterintelligence) analysis, you wouldn’t want to share that publicly so the Russians could read it.”
— Marcy Wheeler, Emptywheel***
A staple and cliché of detective stories, hardboiled and soft, classic and shallow, is a depiction of the a-moral ambiguity of deceptions existing within deceptions that in turn, exist as a series of nesting dolls in which an infinite regression of Mobius Loops define what we charitably call reality.
In a world that refuses to acknowledge it is utilizing Plato’s dictat that in the ideal city state, the poets will be exiled, we have achieved a method that allows for riding two horses with one ass.
These stories, films, televisions shows, mini-series and prestige event television on premium cable, novels both glib and sublime are recognized as culturally on point, and simultaneously irrelevant to the point of being gossamer.
One hears about living in a Kafka-esque nightmare, or an Orwellian state, or one may be told that such and such is like a Russian novel, and at the same time none of that will either be used as a prism by which one contextualizes events nor will it be considered evidence of a systemic pattern in human consciousness.
This raises a series of interrelated questions.
The first is if Art qua Art is evidence of patterns in human thought and action, does it generally speaking, have a time limit?
For example are the themes in the work of the men we call “Homer” timeless or time limited?
If they are timeless then do they provide evidence for the assertion that while the costumes change the social DNA of humanity or what we charitably call civilization, remains the same?
If they remain the same and they therefore are relevant in the sense that they offer a blueprint for History why are they placed in a hermetically sealed ghetto taken out like religious relics for processions and official rituals, and then placed back in a reliquary or left to the meditations of academics, about whom one hears little and understands less?
The answer obviously is precisely because they are evidence and precisely because they reveal the patterns of events those who benefit from systemic ignorance have no incentive to make use of them.
This enforced ignorance finds its natural home on the right of the political spectrum as the right is inherently antagonistic towards knowledge as knowledge disrupts hierarchies of power.
But the right does not possess a monopoly on tyranny or mendacity or for that matter stupidity.
The left in both its (relatively) benign and more violent reactionary forms has as much to answer for as the doctrinaire fascists.
Avoiding the Jordan Peterson-esque use of Stalin’s Zen aphorism and Koan that, the death of one man is a tragedy and the death of a million is a statistic, the issue is not a body count but rather as Sartre said, the issue with fascism is not how many it kills but the method by which it kills.
And that applies to the left as well as the right.
One might take notice of the recent faux debate between the doctrinaire leftist, Zizek and the Lobster King of Toronto which found them agreeing more than not while scrupulously avoiding any in-depth excavation of Plato’s exiles.****
After all why let the disturbing nuanced contradictory facts get in the way of a useful and lucrative rant. Better to ignore the elephant in the room and then dismiss it and deny it’s relevant let alone evidence.
An aspect of both left and right reactionary templates is a denunciation of what they condemn as Postmodernism.
For the right wing reactionary Postmodernism is defined as a threat to “traditional” (Christian) “values.”
For the left wing reactionary postmodernism is defined as a threat to a “traditional” (Marxist) dialectical set of “values.”
In the first instance Postmodernism is too diffuse and undermines hierarchies of power.
In the second instance Postmodernism is too diffuse and undermines hierarchies of power.
In both instances critics of “Postmodernism” limit it to a handful of mostly French writers working in the long shadow stemming from the second half of the 20th centuries’ cataclysmic wars. This approach is also of course a-historical in that it ignores how Postmodernism rests on David Hume’s Buddhism with a Brogue and the idea that the assertion of a singular personality or consciousness is, when pealed back layer upon layer, shown to leave nothing, or everything, or both like a subatomic particle in a super position.
In addition to a host of structural defects in their criticisms, what goes missing of course is the vast world of art that makes use of what may be defined as a Postmodern aesthetic.
But crucially, Postmodern is here deployed in its most elastic (thus Postmodern) form.
The awareness of narrative qua narrative as a wilderness of mirrors reflecting the inherent dog chases its tail wilderness of mirrors that constitutes the bedrock structure of human consciousness, runs a spectrum from Cervantes through Twain’s Huck Finn stating that Twain mostly tells the truth, and sticks the landing with Pynchon but takes in everyone and everything from Magnum PI breaking the fourth wall, to Woody Allen.
As a crucial corollary what may be defined as a classical aesthetic or a linear narrative devoid of the hijinks one associates with Postmodern, one finds despite the stylistic differences, the same sense that patterns of human action are not only locked but are timeless, and in being both predictable and timeless, represent evidence of how things are; of how things work.
Thus, while no one would accuse Tolstoy of being Postmodern what remains constant is that the world works as described in Anna Karenina and Haji Murad.
They are, though seemingly disperate, Kafka-esque because they are detailed accounts of the ways in which the gears of the system crush out the vintage of History.
They are inherently about the deepest truths of the repeating patterns which include, the conspiratorial nature of human action.
The state may be a faceless bureaucracy or it may the hermetically sealed world of hypocritical aristocrats but in the end Anna is as traduced as Joseph K.
In art then one finds that taken as a whole, that is, Art qua Art, regardless of genre, there exists a sense of existence as nesting dolls in which even if the truth, the quotidian facts and detritus of x y or z story, are laid out, end to end, the deeper truth is that the story is set permanently to repeat.
The opposite narrative requires us to limit Art to both a specific moment and as noted to a duration. And in being limited they become disposable; the material from an upscale box store selling junk manufactured by Chinese slaves.
Imagine then if that is true, that the men we call “Shakespeare” have no relevance to these times. And then take note of how the dominant themes of the plays, both comedies and tragedies is not just deception but conspiracies within conspiracies.
What is Gatsby if not a novel about conspiracies – the conspiracies of marriage, of society, of crimes both between people and between a nation and its soul.
What are we to say about Maggie the Cat and Big Daddy if not that they are the live raw wire of the conspiracy of the soul against itself and thus a reflection of the world against itself.
And why would we not consider them as prisms through which we might (to our advantage) contextualize our politics – left, right and otherwise?
As always feel free to make your own list and consider the absurdity and fundamentally reactionary if not fascistic anti-intellectual aesthetic inherent in the dismissive point of view.
To dismiss the relevancy of art as evidence is fundamentally to say – when I hear the word culture, I reach for my gun.
And so, to the current moment.
For roughly two years there has been an echo chamber of speculation both informed and not regarding the report by Special Council Robert Mueller.
During this febrile episode with moments closer to a national nervous breakdown, History as Trickster has been on full display.
As a result we have been treated to the hilarious and sinister spectacle of liberals riding to the defense of the FBI and other outposts of progress in the security and mendacity departments and the Republicans casting themselves in the role of cynics screaming they saw Mueller speaking with the devil because of course the FBI et all can’t be trusted.
As a character says in one of Tom Clancy’s techno thrillers – you can’t trust this man. He works for the CIA. He lies for a living.
This of course speaks directly to our point.
While the enemey of my enemy is my friend paradigm is on point the deeper excavation reveals the systemic repeating pattern at work.
In an endless series of repetitions in which a bodyguard of lies functions as the fulcrum upon which the warlords balance souls, eventually nothing is true and everything is relevant and nothing is relevant and everything is false.
If that does not sound like a Pynchon or Philip K Dick novel, check yourself for a pulse.
Consider the neo-fascist screams by the malignant troll, that the media is the enemy of the people and it’s all fake news or, alternative facts.
While it is clearly the standard wet dream of fascists world wide to label the press or any opposition the enemy of the people, the greater and unremarked upon dilemma is that the media specifically in the US but generally everywhere, has been a shit hole of yellow journalism for centuries.
A robust defense of a free press being as necessary to national security as a division of marines does not mean that a murderer’s row of observational geniuses ranging from Twain to Waugh to Greene to Hunter S. Thompson to Ambrose Bierce are wrong when they tell us stories about the systemic mendacity stupidity credulity and corruption of the press.
Network, Broadcast News, Nightcrawler, Absence of Malice and Scoop are never going to cease being relevant but of course this is just another example in an industrial scale litany that speaks not just to problems with the press, but to the pattern of denial that repeats within the greater patterns of repetition.
In arguing against Trump’s gangsterism and his attacks on the press the press and its allies should have been the first to offer a deep review and excavation of its crimes.
They should have discussed in detail episodes of ginning up the mob from headlines that screamed the Chinese and their opium dens were going to kill us all, that the Commies, the Hippies, the Feminists, the Queers, the Catholics, the Jews, and the Negroes and their syncopations were all going to get us killed.
George W. Bush was the public face of a private corporate junta put into power by a judicial coup but that doesn’t mean The New York Times is off the hook for selling the war crime that was the invasion of Iraq.
You get the pictures I’ll provide the war, may or may not have been said by Hearst to Remington but even if he never said it, it tells us an ugly truth about the sometimes free press.
If an epically stupid man like Trump can nail your ass to the wall you have bigger problems than the fact that an epically stupid man like Trump, can nail your ass to the wall.
But while Art would be a prophylactic against this sort of thing the media along with everyone else insists instead on just yelling louder and digging an even deeper hole.
We have mentioned this before but it bares repeating:
During one of their post Vietnam mea culpa tours, members of the mass murderer’s club explained that when the war started they had no idea how bad it was going to get.
However, on the same well regarded news show, the other guest, a former editor of the Newspaper, Ramparts, said – what do you mean we?!? We knew because we had read Graham Greene’s, The Quiet American.
What followed must surely rank as one of the single most important moments of awkward silence in journalism.
No one said anything – not what do you mean, or what did you learn by reading the novel.
And body bags.
Because of course Greene was left of center, and a contrarian and difficult and had been a spook and was a kind of genius, and if you were to use him as a prisim by which the intelligence agencies and foreign policy, and the media and human action were all contextualized, a lot of people would be out of jobs and you might find yourself in the middle of a very different sort of national discussion.
Can’t have that, now can we.
Consider then that both the breathless defenders of Mueller and his most savage critics have avoided any discussion of the fact that the man was a chief hatchet for the Bush Cheney junta; that his sketchy as fuck fingerprints are all over the mass surveillance apparatus and that The Unbearable Lightness of Being, or The Engineer of Human Souls, or a hundred other novels reveal that once you enter the world of the mass panopticon, nothing is what it seems except for the fact that in being distorted everything is exactly as it appears – distorted.
And again we have the same question: Are we going to celebrate Kundera’s brilliance and knowingly condemn the through the looking glass facts that he and other reported about the world behind the “Iron Curtain” or are we not?
Or are we going to pretend that yes certainly Kundera offers a valuable message in a bottle about the former Soviet empire but Billy Joel’s Nylon Curtain is irrelevant, and crucially, Kundera only faces East? Are we really going to pretend that Harry Lime isn’t on “our side?”
What about Three Days of the Condor?
The Parallax View?
The Secret in Their Eyes?
The Lives of Others?
Here then let us consider some facts.
In a recent atrophied debate on Democracy Now, noted journalist Glenn Greenwald argued that the Russia-Trump-collusion hysteria was not just a scam but a scam cooked up by the usual suspects in the intelligence community, with coopted assistance from establishment media harridans like Rachel Maddow.
This he insists along with a host of other left of center and further left writers and academics, and Muppets of YouTube based “alterative” media, is SOP for the anti-left CIA & Co.
As proof of this Greenwald says that Mueller’s investigation was so vast, so full of powerful tools, that the absence of definitive proof of collusion and the absence of a charge of collusion- conspiracy are proof that the investigation was at best a waste of time, and at worst a con job from the start.
To bolster this argument he makes the claim that Mueller had access to the full scope of the vast arsenal of America’s surveillance machinery.
Well that is an interesting claim – and one directly contradicted by the report (see the extended quote from the report at the end of this post).
First let’s try to generate a working definition of what that would entail:
Access to the geospatial spooks who run the spy satellites.
Access to the Eyes Only details of the Five Eyes Network (The US/NSA, UK/GCHQ, Canada, Australia, etc. – in other words Britain’s’ former colonies rolled into America’s Borg cube of English speaking eyes and ears).
The daily Intel Brief given to the president by either the DCIA or the Director of National intelligence.
All NSA intercepts.
All CIA intelligence.
All DIA intelligence.
Agragates of foreign intelligence supplied through various chanels to the US.
The number of turf wars this would generate is enough on its own to make a mafia chieftain’s head explode.
Add in issues of Congressional patronage and the ensuing bureaucratic clusterfuck of monkeys humping a greased football is enough to crash the entire system.
But wait, there’s more.
In other words, Westeros on steroids or per Greenwald, an Athenian Democracy with Periclean honor above all else.
Let’s accept the premise. Despite the absence of any actual evidence to support the assertion.
Let’s say Mueller had access to all of the above and more.
The more in this case would include all counterintelligence operations.
Funny thing about counterintelligence operations – A staple and cliché of detective stories, hardboiled and soft, classic and shallow is a depiction of the a-moral ambiguity of deceptions existing within deceptions that in turn exist as a series of nesting dolls in which an infinite regression of Mobius Loops define what we charitably call reality.
Consider then a classic like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by former spook John Le Carre.
The first counter argument would be, that’s just a work of fiction and besides even if it tells us something about British intelligence in the recent past, it tells us nothing about the current situation.
Again, accepting that premise requires us to dismiss culture as time limited.
Putting aside the reactionary neo-fascist reality behind that point of view what then of the historical record?
Consider the Anna Chenault episode in which she helped Nixon commit treason by inserting his run for the presidency into the negations to end the war in Vietnam.
Aside from the fact that it is a mirror of any number of the themes in “Shakespeare” with conspirators whispering in the shadows and down the contrived corridors of power, it also speaks to the porcine byzantine habits of the federal mafia – the bureaucracy with its locked in Kafka-esque two-step of perpetual mendacity.
Why sometimes, the federal system feels just like a cat on a hot tin roof.
The counter argument, as such, would be that just because Nixon was a slithering undead monster doesn’t mean the system is always that way.
And that’s not false – but it does not mean it’s true.
Instead it means we have a kind of political Schrodinger’s Cat (on a hot tin roof or not) in which given the mountain of historical examples only two types of people would dismiss the inherent ambiguity and sense of the tightly suspicious as misleading or false – fools or idiots.
Since deception keeps repeating, since mendacity keeps repeating, since we keep finding out after the fact that the official narrative was a cooked up, patchwork ad hoc contraption and that the truth is more elastic, more a hall of mirrors if not a wilderness of distortions, why should we assume this time it’s different?
Need to know?
The cover up is worse than the crime?
Get the fuck outta here.
Except of course once you admit that the Cambridge Spy Ring was real where do you stop? After all, there’s a reason the spooks have counterintelligence operatives.
Le Carre tells us nothing about the current situation and historical moment but then neither does Graham Greene, or a low rent version of the same idea in Tom Clancy?
Raymond Chandler is entertaining but irrelevant.
Hammett? Who cares, he was a leftist and a drunk so Red Harvest is not a template for the corporate dictatorship, and how it turns cities into neo-feudalistic fiefdoms of violence and lies.
The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg? Twain was just a humorist – America’s kindly if eccentric uncle, but he tells us nothing about the consistency of human action.
Hemingway? Fuck off.
Faulkner? Who can read that – it’s so complicated. Besides, it’s not as if the social, political and psychological intricacies of the ancient world can be dumped into the American South, creating a mythic Gothic architecture that reflects the systemic lies of what we charitably call civilization, and how families are conspiratorial and as families are the bedrock of society it’s not as if Faulkner is a way for us to understand how all of that creates a government that reflects the family structure with lies, deceit, and buried twisted half truths, leading towards existential torment and violent efforts to conceal.
Robert Penn Warren? Who reads All the King’s Men anymore?
Not interested in art as the truth?
Ok, if not, after Auschwitz poetry is banal, then what about after The Pentagon Papers only a fool or an idiot would assume the Special Council’s report is a reflection of a pure process that weighs the facts and nothing but the facts.
Joe Friday can be your avatar but don’t be surprised if you turn around to find a chorus of laughter at your expense.
And so again, accepting the premise of Greenwald’s assertion let’s game this out: We know for a fact (or least we have been told it’s a fact – sic!) that there is an ongoing counterintelligence investigation being conducted that is looking into Trump and the Russians.
What do we know about such things?
First that, according to well researched works of history and documented biographies, autobiographies, memoirs and assorted leaks, as well as works of fiction by former spooks, such operations are built on secrecy and fraught with catastrophic deceptions within deceptions within still more deceptions.
The secrecy takes several forms including but not limited to – compartmentalization and a need to know system for disseminating data and information.
One of the side effects of such closed systems as depicted in everything from classic spy stories by the likes of Le Carre, to more banal cultural artifacts like Miami Vice, is the moment where the protagonists run down their quarry – say, a mole or double agent, or the CEO of a bank, only to discover at the last moment that said mole was in fact only posing as a mole in order to shake the rat line and see what the other side (the “bad guys”) were up to.
When asked, why the fuck didn’t you tell us that, the answer is sorry but it was compartmentalized and strictly, a need to know basis; it was, a question of National Security.
Was the fake/authentic mole also guilty of previous crimes ranging from being an ex not ex Nazi war criminal to a rapist or extortionist or any number of other heinous things?
Yes but, National Security trumps (no pun intoned) all of that.
And again there’s that awkward silence – what do you mean WE didn’t know?!? We read The Quiet American.
We knew about the whore houses and the drug lords, the opium and heroin trade; we knew about the corrupt cops and corrupt generals, the secret Catholic societies with their private armies, and the Soviet spies and the Chinese Spies, and the British spies, the French spies and the American spies and the ex not ex SS troopers being used to fill out the ranks of the depleted Foreign Legion and all the rest of it.
Including, Air America.
In fact it all sounds like a Joseph Conrad novel.
Or Thomas Pynchon.
Or a film by Coppola.
Or Section 31 at the heart of The Federation.
But those don’t count.
And Fire in the Lake is only about Vietnam and tells us nothing about the consistency of human thought.
A Bright and Shining Lie is only about Vietnam and tells us nothing about the consistency of human thought.
Street Without Mercy is only about Vietnam and tells us nothing about the consistency of human thought.
Therefore either History teaches us nothing or what it teaches us is locked into the past and again this means the left is identical to the fascist view of events – a dialectic of nihilism masquerading as a thoughtful sifting of the truth on its way to the end of history; an entropy in which ignorant armies clash by night.
But don’t come to the window, because no one reads Arnold anymore and who gives a fuck about the tide at Dover Beach?
And so back to Greenwald asserting something that if true is a clusterfuck, and if not is a different kind of clusterfuck: Mueller had access to the vast reaches of the upside down universe.
And if he did, he would be prevented from telling the truth because if there is an ongoing counterintelligence operation than god only knows how many nesting dolls are being juggled along the Mobius Loop of “reality.”
We have no idea but we also know one other thing: Sure as fuck neither does Greenwald.
Then both in the Democracy Now debate and on The Majority Report with Sam Seder, Greenwald offers another example of ignoring a basic fact of intelligence agencies.
He claims that if Trump et al had been colluding with the Russians then Trump’s hatchet Roger Stone would not have rushed off to see what Assange and Wikileaks had because, says Greenwald, Trump would have already known.
Except that one of the oldest truisms of life is, there is no honor among thieves and in the wilderness of mirrors that is the universe of spies, where did Greenwald get the absurd idea that a world class gangster like Putin would show all of his cards to Trump?
And here let us return to art as a guide: Recognizing he’s being set up what does the irritatingly indecisive prince of Denmark do? He double crosses his would be assassins and sends the Tweedledum and Tweedledee hitmen off to secure their own demise.
Want a pitch perfect example of that sort of Russian Doll reality? Try reading The Glass Key or watch Miller’s Crossing.
Or ignore them and believe that Emptywheel, Jimmy Dore, and Kyle Kulinski and Glenn Greenwald are smarter than a seminal genius.
And again even if one grants the premise why should we, when it suddenly becomes convenient, forget or succeed in not remembering that Trump is a certifiable paranoid surrounded by a gang of fucking lunatics?
As a result right away we have two perfectly valid reasons for Trump dispatching one of his Hands to grill Assange and that’s without considering that for all we know Assange had other information that the Russians didn’t.
After all, would you bet against the CIA or MI6/5 feeding Assange bogus intel to see where along the rat it appears?
And who’s to say Assange wasn’t double crossing Trump?
Who’s to say Trump wasn’t double crossing Assange?
Who’s to say the purpose of Stone’s visit to Assange wasn’t to provide bogus information to see, like a data driven barium enema, where the information ends up?
But more crucially if you were Vladimir Putin and the FSB and GRU and the Russian mafia (and where one begins and the others end is a question of who speaks last), and you were doing business with a first rate moron, would you tell him everything?
Or per the compartmentalization and need to know code of spooks everywhere, would you only tell him what you thought was in your interests?
As a historical example consider that the Chiefs of Staff inserted their own spy in The White House and ordered him (a navy yeoman) to retrieve classified documents from then National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger’s briefcases.
Nixon found out and not only did not directly confront the military brass but did not inform Kissinger.
You don’t believe in conspiracies do you?
No, but let’s call Scully and Mulder all the same.
The truth is Greenwald doesn’t just come across as wrong, though he clearly is not correct, but he comes across as something of a knob.
To cement that notion Greenwald coughs up a stunning hairball of an example that reminds us of the punchline to an old joke about getting advice from Microsoft – you know it’s advise from Microsoft because it’s 100% accurate and 100% useless.
Greenwald says, accurately that the House in both the case of Nixon and Clinton was gripped by uncertainty but went ahead all the same and made the case for impeachment. Since they are not doing that for Trump, it proves that he hasn’t committed impeachable offensives.
“If you really believed Donald Trump committed crimes it’s the constitutional duty of the Democrats in the House to impeach Donald Trump.”
Well yes it is their constitutional duty and of course the government is full of people who place duty above party and personal ambition, and no one owes anyone any favors and no one has any dirt on anyone else, and all of a sudden Glenn Greenwald apparently views the inner workings of the government like an episode of This Boy’s Life mashed up with Little House on the Prairie.
The idea (to insult the idea of an idea based on logic) that the political process of impeachment is that simple calls to mind Hanna Arendt’s comment, in a slightly different context, that when told by multiple fascists that they had been unaware of the crimes committed by regimes in Europe during the war, – it would she said, require a near criminal lack of imagination to be true.
And yet Greenwald is taken seriously and his options are given weight by the utterly intellectually barren talking heads and foot soldiers of the sclerotic left.****
The fact that he’s right, that if you believe Trump has committed crimes, and that he’s right that one has a constitutional duty to then act accordingly, doesn’t mean for even three seconds that’s how the sausage get’s made.
To reduce the process to an inverse sense of pique and being indignant at the suggestion that the facts, as Faulkner said, seldom have much to do with the truth, is an example of an insult to the purity of the truth, is to be either some sort of very special precious child stomping around in a pair of shoes that are too big for you or, it is to engage in a specific kind of mendacity that combines private neurotic tics with a public piece of performance art which you insist is as logically bullet proof as a legal brief.
But it is in truth lawyerly pettifogging.
It is placing one’s faith in a magic bullet while claiming a near Aristotelian grasp of logic.
To conclude, as Greenwald does, that a failure to present charges and make the case for impeachment is “pretty revealing” is undeniable. What exactly it reveals is of course not at all what Greenwald claims.
Does it prove Trump is in bed with the Russians?
Does it not prove it?
Does it prove that the spooks have more or less dirt on Trump and which connects him to the Russians?
We don’t know and sure as fuck neither does Glenn Greenwald.
After all, in the 1930s the Senate concluded there was insufficient evidence to prove that there had been a conspiracy to stage a coup and dump FDR into the Potomac.
In the 90s the Senate concluded there was insufficient evidence to prove the DOJ had conspired to thwart a federal judge from exercising his authority to make a ruling – a case involving a gentleman named, William Barr.
Of course the definition of “evidence” depends on what the definition of is, is.
Or if you like consider that just a few months ago, writing in the august pages of The London Review of Books, Sy Hirsh said that the little old rag in Lebanon that broke the story that became Iran Contra, was supplied the smoking gun by, then Vice President, George H. Bush because Poppy, old former DCIA himself, was running an off the books hit squad, and was afraid the knuckle dragging mouth breathing goons from Langley, being run by psychopathic amateurs Ollie North and Bill Casey, were going to not only get him and his crew exposed, but by exposing them would wreck his shot at the big chair.
If the price of doing business was hanging the nominal boss, Reagan, well, as Sam Spade said to The Fat Man – Give’m the Gunsel.
But as we’ve already established – fuck Hammett and now we can also say, fuck Seymour Hirsh; what the fuck has he ever done?
Again if there is an ongoing counter intelligence operation then the spooks will have, in a closed briefing, told the tools on Capital Hill: you reveal this radioactive shit and the toxic blowback could be more horrific than you can possibly imagine.
If they are doing their due spook diligence and if the foreign intelligence services who tipped them off to a possible Trump-Russian cohabitation are doing their jobs (and if they’re not that is simply the same turd polished twice precisely because if it’s all a scam then it’s not the sort of scam where the spooks like Wiley E Coyote are going to have their ACME nail Trump kit blow up in their faces and say oh ok, we give up) then lives are at risk as undercover operatives inside Russia are working their leads and sources, spooks with connections everywhere the Russians have interests – from Iran to Syria to Gaza to Venezuela, to Wall Street – are playing the proverbial game of cat and mouse and this byzantine shit show includes but is not limited to, nuclear triggers, stocks, bonds, commodities, intel sources that are buried deep inside assorted regimes and provide dirt on a variety of topics, weapons sales, coups, counter coups, murders, extortion, drug sales and so on – just like the plot in a thousand novels and films.
And even the jackasses in Congress know that and if they don’t it will be explained to them by people you do not want to fuck with.
His claim that Trump Jr and Jared not being charged is further proof that there was no collusion would be funny were it ultimately not so sad.
Which brings us to another far more worrying point:
Assume for a moment that you’re a intelligence mandarin inside the Puzzle Palace of spooks and you have either iron clad proof or a reasonable guess that Trump the Dumber and/or Jared the Mirthless are on the Russian payroll.
And Mueller says I’m going to charge them with x y and z.
Do you a, say ok copper it’s a fair bust or b, say, no fucking way; these two fucktards are giving us more damn dirt than if we were actually inside Putin’s head or had a seat inside the Kremlin. And what’s more, Putin doesn’t know that we know so he keeps talking and we keep sucking the trough dry.
Consider that notorious sadistic alcoholic thug, William Harvey, who was in charge of the operation to dig a tunnel from West Berlin to East Berlin didn’t know, until it was far too late, that the Russians knew about the tunnel in large part because of their mole(s) inside British intelligence.
Does the spook community have institutional memory?
Does a bear shit in the woods?
Consider that if you go to YouTube and in the search box you type: Jefferson Morley (formerly with the Washington Post) vs the CIA and among other gems you find the following:
Morley is researching the CIA for a book he’s writing and of course comes across details about The Blond Ghost – aka, Ted Shakely who partnered with Harvey in Berlin and later went on to a noted career as a band leader for JM/Wave, the Pynchon meets The Marx Brothers meets Reservoir Dogs operation to topple Castro, and restore the genteel Zen monks of Murder Incorporated to run the whores and casinos and Cuba.
Ted did his job and like a proper ghost vanished into the wind except, Morley found a photo of him receiving a medal from a Bishop from Spookville.
Funny thing thought Morley – the guy in the photo getting the medal looks just like a guy acting as a liaison for the spooks and a congressional committee investigating Operation Mongoose (and all of its tentacles).
So Morley calls a lawyer on the committee and says hey, you know that guy who is the liaison between your committee and the spooks?
Sure, says the lawyer, what about him?
Well, says Morley, turns out he’s the guy who ran JM/Wave.
No, says the lawyer can’t be, the spooks promised us they wouldn’t do that.
Yeah, says Morley, turns out that wasn’t completely the truth.
And with that as a historical context consider the nightmare scenario:
If you were investigating the possibility that Trump’s former National Security Advisor was a Russian hand puppet, would you be concerned that were things, crucially, vitally important things, you were unaware of except for that fact that you were aware that there were things about which you were unaware?
Would you be concerned that perhaps the Russians have someone inside your wheelhouse?
Would you shit a brick at the prospect of having dirt on the Russians go public because it might not only expose their operatives but yours and worse, could produce a Guns of August Cuban Missile Crisis sort of situation?
Are you fucking kidding me.
That is a crucial consideration.
Let’s say you’re working at Langley or the Pentagon and you’re scanning Capitol Hill for a rational adult who isn’t likely to pull their underwear over their own head, soak themselves in gasoline and start running around lighting matches.
And those are the people entrusted with information that might very well cause a public demand for someone to smack the Russians hard and publicly.
Of course the calcified left has no use for an intelligence agency that is actually terrified of a war. After all Noam Chomsky says it’s impossible so it must be true.
But such things are true.
If the president of the United States or those close to him are publicly revealed to have given the Russians classified data that cost American lives impeachment is the least of the nation’s concerns.
What would retaliation look like?
What would the military recommend?
What about the spooks including the Doctor Strangelove freaks who think a dose of radioactive fallout gives you a healthy glow?
The inability of so called intelligent people to think intelligently would be cause for laughs but the truth is it’s cause for a bad case of the jitters and shakes.
The absence of common sense displayed by Greenwald and the corresponding insistence that he’s being ruthless, precisely logical and is speaking gospel, is a textbook example of the calcified atrophied arrogance of the left.
That professional idiots like Rudy Giuliani are argumentative soulmates of Greenwald speaks volumes about the silly putty structure of their case.
If you want to crawl into bed with Cersei Lannister go ahead but when she has the Mountain crack your skull like a nut don’t scream at me because you were a fucking tool.
The historical record is full of perfectly well documented examples of conspiracies in which the conspirators cheat each other.
And the cultural record is full of perfectly well realized works of art that confirm what the historical record tell us.
And visa versa.
You can dismiss The Sting as an amusing trifle and you can dismiss Chinatown because Roman Polanski is a depraved midget, but if you look at the Mueller Report and at some point don’t think, forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown, you’re some sort of catastrophic idiot.
See Greenwald make his case, as such, here:
*We recognize the problematic aspects of Eliot’s poem.
** We are not sure if the well known line is by Martin or the writers for the show.
***For more details on the nature of the counterintelligence story see the following:
And in particular this quote (emphasis added both below and to the quote above):
“From its inception, the Office recognized that its investigation could identify foreign intelligence and counterintelligence information relevant to the FBI’s broader national security mission. FBI personnel who assisted the Office established procedures to identify and convey such information to the FBI. The FBI’s Counterintelligence Division met with the Office regularly for that purpose for most of the Office’s tenure. For more than the past year, the FBI also embedded personnel at the Office who did not work on the Special Counsel’s investigation, but whose purpose was to review the results of the investigation and to send-in writing-summaries of foreign intelligence and counterintelligence information to FBIHQ and FBI Field Offices. Those communications and other correspondence between the Office and the FBI contain information derived from the investigation, not all of which is contained in this Volume. This Volume is a summary. It contains, in the Office’s judgment, that information necessary to account for the Special Counsel’s prosecution and declination decisions and to describe the investigation’s main factual results.”
****Zizek’s use of pop culture detritus and ephemera and his occasional fits of “Lacanian” hermeneutics not withstanding, he is doctrinaire in his left wing ideological certainties. For a look at his left wing thuggery and fascism, see his book, in Defense of Lost Causes, where he says “decadence” should be met with discipline.
That it sounds suspiciously like a formulae for failed harvests, long ditches full of corpses and the general dreary paint by numbers way to create a Five Year Plan, hardly needs explaining.
**** Here “left” is used both provisionally and loosely as of course “the left” is a baggy suit under a large tent.
On the one hand, better late then never but on the other, what a gang of hypocrites – we refer to the trolls at Emptywheel who in a perfect display of the old Robin Williams’ joke about, in the dictionary under irony, see, irony, have today decided that as we pointed out four months ago, Glenn Greenwald has issues vis the Mueller Report and the Counter Intelligence operation, that yes in fact, Greenwald has issues:
To be clear: Greenwald has descended into being some sort of occasional hack and Emptywheel is convinced the white smoke pouring out of its cyber ears means they’ve elected themselves pope.