Fake Intel runs through it
by Ilana Mercer
No, the moral of the Mueller inquisition is not that the Left is incorrigibly corrupt and morally and intellectually bankrupt, although this is certainly true. And, no. It’s not that the Republicans are meek, more eager for swamp-creature tenure than to save the country. However much state power flaccid Republicans capture, they quickly come to heel when Democrats crack the whip.
The moral of the Mueller inquisition, at least one of them, concerns the alphabet soup of acronyms that stands for the Permanent Security State—FBI, DOJ, DIA, DHS, CIA, NSA, on and on. That this intractable apparatus’ impetus is liberal is hardly new. What is counterintuitive to many is that the Permanent Security State’s modus operandi comports perfectly well with both Republican and Democratic administrations, alike.
When it comes to subverting an “America First,” sovereignty-centered, populist platform—the duopoly acts as one. Have not fans of Mr. Mueller kept reminding us that the man is a loyal Republican? And he is—Mueller’s a Republican stalwart of the managerial class. (By the way, Mueller fans can find “Mr. Mueller-face earrings and Mueller devotional candles on Etsy, the e-commerce equivalent of a hippie grandmother’s attic.”)
To make sense of the Russia Monomania and the Mueller time we all served, it is essential to grasp the anatomy of American state power. In particular, to comprehend the mass hysteria that is the war on Trump, it’s crucial to trace the contours of that other war, “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” and the way it was peddled to the American public.
The manufacturing of Fake News by the Deep State, circa 2017, is of a piece with the anatomy of the ramp-up to war in Iraq, in 2003. Except that back then, Republicans, joined by many a diabolical Democrat like Hillary Clinton, were the ones who dreamt up Homer Simpson’s Third Dimension in Iraq.
Fact: The Steel Dossier, which launched the Mueller inquisition, was as fantastical a fabrication as were the documents that fed the Bush administration’s will to war.
As it is, intelligence report-writing is more art than science; more flare than fact. It’s executed by many of the same, tinny, dogmatic, ex-CIA feminists whom we see plonked in CNN studios, ponderously pontificating about Our Russian Enemy. From the CIA to CNN, the youthful talking heads (and their shapely keisters) have only ever gone from a swivel chair at the Langley headquarters to a seat in a CNN studio, in New York City. The “intelligence” these cartoon characters produced as CIA or FBI agents is as intelligent as their commentary in the TV studio.
Did no one but this writer have PTSD-related flashbacks when Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, was floated during the Mueller madness? During his testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, the bewildered Michael Cohen—a tragic figure, really—was asked in all seriousness whether he had liaised with “Kremlin officials” in Prague. “I’ve never been to the Czech Republic,” Cohen shot back.
Curiously, Prague is umbilically linked to another notorious intelligence hoax. According to manufactured American intelligence, a putative meeting between Mohamed Atta, the ringleader of Sept. 11, and Iraqi intelligence, was said to have taken place in … Prague.
Atta and the Iraqi assets never met in Prague. (At the time, Iraq had been 95-percent disarmed and was in possession of no weapons of mass destruction, an assessment backed by many an expert in strategic studies BEFORE THE WAR.)
The Prague apparition is a thread that runs through the Iraq and Mueller mythology. Is Prague a figment of an intelligence officer (a female enterprise?) who had just read her first Milan Kundera novel? Inquiring minds have to wonder.
Seriously, Prague is the witches brew you get when you fuse the FBI’s highly-strung anti-Trump brigade with Christopher Steele’s “research” team. Certainly, the publicly available CIA reports, offering “irrefutably” incriminating evidence against Iraq—the one I had perused in December of 2002—had novel-like qualities.
Hardly sober and scholarly, the bafflegab that convinced Republicans to destroy the balance of power in Iraq and the region went something like, “Saddam will probably”; “Give him time and he will eventually”; “With sufficient weapons-grade fissile material, he’ll doubtless”; “He doesn’t have the capability to develop enriched uranium or plutonium to fuel a nuclear bomb, but just you wait …”
This is obviously not the letter of the texts that convinced everyone (except a few of us) to destroy Iraq. But it’s close enough to its spirit. How the CIA cobbled together evidence for an “interest in acquiring” or “an effort to procure”—considering that these WMD-related purchases never seemed to materialize—isn’t clear. What proof did we have that they were even initiated? None.
Much of the compositions masquerading as intelligence and continually cited by political actors in privileging their policies are in language that is manifestly intended to exempt the writer from having to substantiate much of the claims.
Be it against Iraq or Russia, the political storyline du jour is manufactured by America’s gilded elites. To this—to heading a principate like Rome—Republican Karl Rove famously confessed during the era of Bush II:
“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.” Not coincidentally, Karl is currently urging Republicans to “move on from Robert Mueller,” nothing here to see.
To manufacture consent over Iraq, elements in the intelligence community worked with neoconservative counterparts in Bush 43’s administration, in particularity with “the Office of Special Plans.” And while Fake News babes did wonders to sex up, stateside, the cause of senseless killing—the dissemination of Fake News, vis-a-vis Iraq, was hardly the exclusive province of Fox News. With some laudable exceptions, Big Media all was tuned-out, turned-on and hot for holy war in the cause of democracy, WMD, whatever.
Now, it’s all-out war on Trump. Then, the same Machine aligned against Iraq. As salient in 2003, as in 2017, was the monolithic quality of the cheer-leading coming from the networks; an unquestioning uniformity that spoke to a slutty sell-out throughout the media establishment. For journalistic jingoism, it’s impossible to best the coverage of the high-tech media extravaganza known as “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
Embedded with the military turned out to be a euphemism for in bed with the military. Practically all network embeds focused exclusively on the Pentagon’s version of events, to the exclusion of reality on the Iraqi ground. Yet reporters who slept with their sources were treated as paragons of truth. Those of us who refused such cohabitation were labeled “unilaterals,” deniers, unpatriotic, and worse.
Reporting hearsay as truth and failing to verify stories were all in a day’s work on cable and news networks. A Geiger counter that went off in the inexpert hands of a young Marine, stationed in Iraq, became “Breaking News,” possible evidence of weapons-grade plutonium. Every bottle of Cipro pills located was deemed a likely precursor to an anthrax factory. Anchormen and women somberly seconded these “finds,” seldom bothering to issue retractions.
When you’re the most powerful entity in the world, as the U.S. government still is—you get to manufacture your own parallel universe with its unique rules of evidence and standards of proof. What’s more, as the mightiest rule-maker, you can coerce other earthlings into “sharing” your alternate reality by hook or by crook, abroad or at home. More than anything, the moral of Mueller is that the Security State is dangerous to all Americans, Republicans, Deplorables—even Democrats.
Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook, Gab & YouTube