The Comey memo and U.S. policy toward Russia

The controversy over the FBI’s investigation of President Donald Trump is basically a behind-the-scenes battle over U.S. policy toward Russia.

Trump is being attacked because he wanted to improve relations with Russia, while the leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties, the Washington press corps, the Pentagon and the so-called “intelligence community” seem hell-bent on reviving the Cold War, or worse.

My reason for thinking so is that the anti-Trump campaign suddenly stopped when he ordered a missile attack on Russia’s ally, Syria.   And my suspicion is that it would stop again if he started making threats to Russia over Syria or Ukraine.

That’s not to say that Trump or members of his team may not have done something wrong.  It is just that those in government who are leaking all this anti-Trump information are doing it as a means to an end—to damage Trump politically and sabotage attempts to improve relations with Russia.

The Real News Network broadcast broadcast a good discussion of this subject with Robert English, an expert on Russia.   As English noted, the things that are coming out about Trump are either trivial, or without evidence, or similar to things previous Presidents have done.

He pointed out that the elder George Bush committed a much more serious security breach than Trump is currently being accused of, and that the younger George Bush intentionally released classified information to destroy the reputation of a whistle-blower within the administration.

President Trump is accused of revealing “sensitive information.”   In telling Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Kisiyak about ISIS terrorist plots against Russian aviation, he supposedly told them things that would make it possible to figure out where and from whom the information came from.

Reporters for the New York Times and Washington Post claim that the source of information is Israel.  John Helmer, an independent correspondent, wrote that he is able to deduce from the Washington Post article that the source is ISIS itself.   If revealing sensitive information is such a bad thing, why was it all right for the Washington Post to publish it, rather than leaving it between Trump, Lavrov and Kisiyak?

I wrote long before the election that I don’t think Donald Trump is intellectually, temperamentally or morally fit to be President of the United States.    He has done nothing since taking office to change my mind.

If Trump had the temperament of a Bill Clinton, he would be able to ride out these charges, as Clinton rode out the Watergate charges.  As it is, almost everything he does or says make things worse for himself.

But that doesn’t make it acceptable for secret intelligence agencies to try to drive Trump from office based on anonymous leaked information.  Nor to make willingness to risk war with Russia a test of patriotism.


Why Did the FBI Leak the Comey Memo? transcript of an interview of Robert English by Paul Jay for the Real News Network.   Important, and well worth reading or viewing in its entirety.

How Did Russiagate Start? by Matt Taibbi for Rolling Stone.

A Special Prosecutor Is Not the Answer to Trump and Russia by David Frum for The Atlantic.


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2 Responses to “The Comey memo and U.S. policy toward Russia”

  1. williambearcat Says:

    We love certain leakers, Snowden, and dislike others. Wonder what the basis is?


    • philebersole Says:

      I admire Edward Snowden for risking his life and freedom to show the American people what their government was doing behind their back. He was not anonymous and he didn’t have a hidden political agenda.

      I see a certain paradox in the anonymous bureaucrats who leaked information to the Washington Post about how President Trump was careless in handling of sensitive information, and called attention the world’s attention to that sensitive information.

      Sometime shortly before Pearl Harbor, the Chicago Tribune published information from which it could have been deduced that the United States had broken the Japanese military code.

      President Roosevelt’s first impulse was to prosecute the Tribune, but on sober second thought, he realized that this would only call attention to the security breach. He did nothing, and the Japanese never figured out that their code was broken.

      If the leakers really were concerned about keeping sensitive information secret, they would have followed FDR’s example.


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