NSA LEAKER REALITY WINNER: PATRIOT OR TRAITOR?
NSA MAY MEMO DETAILS HOW RUSSIA'S MILITARY ARM HACKED THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
Following yesterday’s bombshell of the publication of a Top Secret National Security Agency (NSA) report and the immediate arrest of Georgia leaker, Reality Leigh Winner, as I scanned the front pages of both today’s Washington Post and New York Times there were no banner headlines about it. “Hmmmm. How odd,” I thought. “Maybe because it’s early (it was 5:30 AM), I’m not seeing things clearly.” I don’t normally wake up so early but I’m babysitting my daughter’s dog and he barked when the newspaper delivery women pushed both papers through the mail slot. The front pages of both headlined the Arab world’s diplomatic break with Qatar (in the latest chapter of the 1300 year old Sunni-Shiite Muslim split) and how Trump’s tweets are undermining the defense of his own case for the Muslim Travel Ban even though the Obama Deep State cabal is evidently still actively pursuing a campaign against him. I thought maybe both newspapers didn’t publish the bombshell NSA leak because they thought it was Fake News? Planted by the NSA itself? Leaked by Steve Bannon to deflect from the Muslim Ban or Trump's outrageous tweets sliming London's Muslim Mayor, Sadiq Khan? But, as it turns out, the Post printed an article on page A-7 while the Times on page A-4, perhaps reflecting the Times consideration of the importance of the story over the Post’s positioning of their piece.
Watching the early morning news programs this morning, I’m tickled at Jake Tapper’s interview with that “evil bitch” (as right wingers call her) House Minority Whip, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) about why some Democrats are yelling about collusion when there’s “no evidence” so far that Trump and/or Team Trump in any way, shape or from had anything to do with cooperating with the Russkies in rigging the election. True enough. Again with the “there’s no evidence” junk. Sure, there’s no evidence so far that would stand up in court of law but Impeachment of a President isn’t dependent on the legal, court of law, definition of evidence.
The Founding Fathers were very smart in creating an extra-judicial proceeding for the removal of a sitting President since civil or criminal lawsuits against a sitting President could impact his ability to govern and, therefore, could negatively impact the country as a whole. Impeachment does not require the same level or quality of “evidence” that a court would require and since impeachment proceedings take place in Congress – first in the House of Representatives and then in the Senate – they could theoretically be conducted in secret. It is instructive to note that the House Judiciary Committee’s three Articles of Impeachment drawn up against Richard Nixon included “obstruction of justice” because he asked the Attorney General at the time, John Mitchell, to squash the ongoing FBI investigation over the Watergate burglary.
We the people did not know that this had happened until a year after the burglary when Nixon was recorded on tape asking that the investigation be quashed. But with our current Russiagate event, Trump has already admitted on national television that he did, indeed, ask FBI Director, James Comey, to drop the investigation into former Trump National Security Advisor, Lt. General Michael Flynn. It was a day (maybe two days) after one such request that Trump abruptly and disgracefully fired James Comey certainly setting up at the very least prima facie evidence of obstruction of justice.
We are all breathlessly awaiting Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. Personally, I do not expect that we will hear any “smoking gun” testimony from Comey since he will be constrained from revealing info that could jeopardize the Special Counsel’s criminal investigation into all things Russian Influence. On the other hand, whatever Comey might say is not going to serve Trump well even if it’s only about how he was fired and the already known (and verified by Trump) meetings between him and the President.
Despite the page A-7 and A-4 placement of Ms. Winner’s dropping the dime on NSA, the cable news channels this morning are all over her bombshell revelations. No doubt she will be charged with one or more criminal felonies for her actions and could possibly be charged with espionage. But the content of the NSA report is what’s really remarkable detailing, as it does, how the military arm of the Russian Government hacked the software that is used by several states to monitor voter registrations and the recording of vote tallies. There is nothing in the NSA report that indicates that any voting rolls or machines were indeed manipulated to rig voting results, but that would only have been the “next step” in the process. Did it happen? Who knows? Maybe we will eventually find out.
The upshot of this latest “Breaking News Headlines” bombshell? Just like with the dozens of leaks and anonymous sources since the Hillary e-mail scandal that James Comey addressed, we’ve had a series of “rumors” that have eventually turned out to be true. Remember when back last year when there was a “possibility” that Russia had “influenced” our Presidential Election? So far it has been proven that Russian agents did indeed produce fake posts on Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat as well as dumping fake and misleading RT news articles to the media. So is it such a yuge stretch to envision that at some point, through additional leaks from the NSA, CIA and FBI that Russia actually did change the outcome of the election?
Collusion, cooperation, support by Trump personally and/or members of Trump’s Team of deplorables? Who knows?