Yesterday’s backlash to Trump releasing info to the Russians is the latest spat in the ugly divorce between him and his Intelligence Community. So why does the Deep State have an axe to grind?
Someone asked me today, “Why is the US Intelligence Community (IC) out to get Donald Trump?” It’s a good question. Before we launch into the many reasons that the alphabet-soup of security, secrets, and surveillance agencies has to undermine the sitting president, it’s worth clarifying the phrase: “out to get”.
In case you haven’t noticed, Trump’s administration has been bedevilled by an endless torrent of leaks since his inauguration. Any time the news cycle needs a jolt (really just a reinvigoration of the narrative that “Trump’s current XYZ scandal leaves him only days left in office”), an unnamed source then “appears” from “inside the White House”, “inside the intel community”, “inside the FBI”, on and on and on.
Some of the leaks are aimed at tarring Trump with the Russia-gate brush, others designed to embarrass him, or demonstrate his gross incompetence, or prove Donald’s unfitness for the role of Commander in Chief. Just to be clear – this degree of “leaking” to the press (some information of which turns out to be credible, while much is pure fantasy) is unparalleled in American history. The Intelligence Community is out to get Trump – that’s just a fact. So why?
Here is a helpful listicle:
- Many of the upper and middle level employees of the IC were appointed during the Obama administration. The agency heads are appointed by POTUS, and the heads appoint their deputies, and so. You can see that over eight years, the IC can develop a nicely partisan flavour.
- 91% of the Washington DC electorate (where all the IC agencies are located) voted for Clinton. This means there are a lot of people in Washington who didn’t get a job they expected, or favours returned for the cash they paid, assuming (as most did) that Hillary was a shoe-in.
- During the 2016 campaign, Trump indicated he had no faith in the IC.
- Trump framed the IC as liars that tricked the US into the 2003 Iraq war.
- Washington DC is an incestuous swamp of insiders – Trump’s “outsider”’ candidacy has united an entire apparatus of media, IC officers and employees, and Democratic strategists who currently have only two aims. The first it to get Trump impeached. The second is to discredit Trump sufficiently so the Democrats sweep the midterms, and then absolutely impeach Trump.
- The IC is the bridge between politics and the media, and the military. You could say it’s the nervous system of the military industrial complex (MIC). It joins the cerebral cortex (elite decision makers) to the muscular-skeletal apparatus (guns, bombs and ships). Trump has articulated a foreign policy vision that runs completely contrary to the MIC status quo mission. They want war in the Middle East and to confront Russia (and China), Trump appears to want none of those things.
Trump’s presence in the Oval Office, in the centre of the Washington cabal, has set off the system’s self-defense mechanism. Like a host infected with a virus, the autoimmune response has been triggered and cells are attacking the malignancy persistently and from every angle, hoping to drive it from the body.
Betting markets suggest that Trump will not make it through his first term in office. They anticipate one of two paths to his downfall. Either the activities of the IC in combination with the media convince enough Republicans in the House to vote with Democrats for impeachment. Or, the activities of the IC in conjunction with the media create a perfect storm for the 2018-midterm elections, such that the GOP loses its majority in Congress. Then at the earliest possible convenience, the ruling Democrats will impeach Trump. I’m not quite ready… yet… to put my money on Trump’s disgraceful exit, but I’m getting awfully close.