Tyranny’s face is familiar to me. I was in Nicaragua during the Contra War, El Salvador during its civil war, and have been in many Communist countries on numerous occasions. Let us compare the Trump impeachment inquiry to the impeachment inquiry of President Nixon.
Nixon’s crimes were obvious. On June 17, 1972, five burglars with the aid of G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt, broke into the offices of the Democratic Party in the Watergate Building. All seven men were former FBI and/or CIA assets. Some had been involved in the CIA’s disastrous Bay of Pigs operation. Nixon also used intelligence assets against numerous political enemies. When the Watergate “spooks” were arrested, Nixon orchestrated a cover-up.
This time, a whistleblower, a junior intelligence officer, Democrat and holdover from the Obama administration, didn’t like a phone call President Trump made to the Ukrainian leader. As a result, Democrats in the House of Representatives tell us impeachment is inevitable.
The FBI and CIA have long histories of political subversion. The FBI’s most notorious episode was against Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. FBI surveillance of Rev. King began in 1956, under its Racial Matters Program. Wiretaps of King’s home and the offices of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference began in 1963. In 1964 FBI Director Hoover called Rev. King “the most notorious liar in the country.” The FBI’s excuse for its actions was national security – communist attempts to influence Rev. King. Rather than warn MLK of this supposed communist plot, the FBI undertook a smear campaign to discredit King in the eyes of his supporters. Dirty tricks against MLK reached their zenith when the FBI attempted to blackmail him into committing suicide. Hoover is also accused of gathering dirt on politicians, including presidents, to use against them.
The CIA is infamous for numerous coups and assassinations. Among the most notorious are the assassination of South Vietnam President Diem in 1963, and the coup against Chile’s President, Salvador Allende, in 1973. Cambodia’s ruler, Prince Norodom Sihanouk, blamed the CIA for the coup that replaced him in 1970, resulting in the Khmer Rouge genocide of two-million Cambodians.
President Johnson’s authority to conduct the Vietnam War, in 1964, was given by Congress based on false intelligence about the Gulf of Tonkin incident, trapping the US in the Vietnam quagmire. It was under LBJ’s presidency that the FBI harassed MLK and numerous other civil rights leaders. It was during Johnson’s presidency that Malcom X, MLK and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. Cities burned across America. Riots engulfed the 1968 Democratic Convention. LBJ did nothing when Soviet tanks crushed freedom in Czechoslovakia. When North Korea seized the USS Pueblo holding its navy crew hostage, Johnson did nothing. And yet LBJ never faced impeachment.
George W. Bush was unprepared for the 9/11 attacks. He trapped America in quagmires in Afghanistan and Iraq, his administration assuring the world Iraq possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction. The subsequent war resulted in the deaths of thousands of Americans and tens-of-thousands of Iraqi civilians, because of an intelligence “error.” Bush used terrorism as an excuse to greatly expand the “surveillance state” under the Patriot and Protect America Acts, reducing constitutional protections, particularly with regards to the FISA Court and the NSA. Bush’s policies brought about the 2008 economic collapse. And yet Bush never faced impeachment.
President Nixon used FBI and CIA assets against his enemies. Today, black has become white and white is black. Trump didn’t utilize intelligence assets; the FBI and CIA were deployed against Trumps’ campaign and presidency.
The impeachment inquiry is being conducted in secret, in the deep bowels of the capital building. It reminds me of a Stalinist trial in the basement of the Lubyanka, where guilt is certain and innocence is impossible. The whistleblower against Trump is an intelligence officer, a holdover from the Obama administration. We are told his or her identity must be kept secret and the testimony done anonymously.
Past impeachment inquiries had bi-partisan support, were done in public and protected due process for the presidents. These inquiries were handled by the Judicial Committee.
This time, House Democrats have given the Intelligence Committee responsibility to conduct the impeachment inquiry in secret, denying the president due process, and denying the American people knowledge of the proceedings. This is the same Intelligence Committee that daily deals with America’s intelligence agencies.
On October 30, former CIA Acting Director praised the “Deep State” for its role in seeking to overthrow President Trump saying: “Thank god for the Deep State…it took an intelligence officer to step forward and say something about it, which was the trigger that unleashed everything else.”
The Mueller Report, DOJ and other evidence show that FBI and CIA assets were unleashed on the Trump Campaign in 2016, with top FBI leaders calling their Trump investigation an “insurance policy” in case he won the election. It also appears that the FBI and/or CIA used Five Eyes foreign assets to conduct operations against the Trump Campaign. Five Eyes is the five allied intelligence services of: Australia, Canada, UK, New Zealand and the US.
I was in the Soviet Union shortly before officers of the KGB, Soviet military, and Politburo attempted to overthrow Mikhail Gorbachev. Gorbachev’s “crime?” He withdrew the Soviet military from its war in Afghanistan and halted Soviet military domination of Eastern Europe. In short, Gorbachev had run afoul of the intelligence services (KGB and GRU) and the military industrial complex. The coup against Gorbachev failed, but it triggered the dissolution of the Soviet Union, plunging it into an economic depression more severe than America’s Great Depression, and setting the stage for the rise of a former KGB officer, Vladimir Putin.
US Navy Admiral William McRaven published an opinion article in the Oct. 17, 2019 New York Times. McRaven recounted his close connections to America’s intelligence services and called for the removal of Donald Trump. Why? Because Trump is opposed to endless foreign wars and America being the policeman of the world. If Trump is removed from office by means other than the ballot box, the results may be disastrous, just as they were in the Soviet Union.
The greatest danger to American liberty does not come from Russia or the Ukraine, but from the gray men and women who lurk in the shadows. If American democracy perishes, it will not die at the hands of a foreign foe. It will be strangled in its bed by members of its own family. To quote the immortal words of the cartoon character Pogo, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”