It’s been a long day with a lot of tough news, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has added to it.
He was interviewed on CNN on Thursday night. In the course of the interview, Don Lemon quoted from one of Trump’s latest tweets.
Lemon continued, “That is an extraordinary claim, and based on your experience, what is the likelihood that it’s true?”
Here’s how Clapper responded:
Clapper answered, “Well, I think this is hyperbole. They may have someone who was talking to them in the campaign, but the focus here, as it was with the intelligence community, is not on the campaign, per se, but what the Russians were doing to try to instantiate themselves in the campaign or to influence it or leverage it.”
Then Clapper made his outrageous statement: “So, if there was someone that was observing that sort of thing, that’s a good thing because the Russians pose a threat to the very basis of our political system.”
All right, so at least he didn’t say “kakistocracy.”
What saddens me is the deflection and faux moral posturing. “Hyperbole”? If the FBI had an informant in the Trump campaign, then it had one. There’s no “hyperbole” involved in pointing that out.
Disputing whether the verb “to spy” applies, which seems to be what Clapper is getting at, is being disingenuous. We’re not talking about 10-year-olds trying to peer into each other’s windows. We’re talking about the FBI. There’s no such thing as the FBI having informants monitoring your activities, and that not having weighty implications, about which there is no need to be “hyperbolic.”
But Clapper’s especially focused moral contradiction is the business about the Russians “posing a threat to the very basis of our political system.”
That has been the mantra of the Russiagate narrative, but no one ever defines it in a way that makes sense. That’s pure demagoguery: an attempt to railroad people with trigger sentiments. Sorry, I’m not selling America down the river for an emotional bumper sticker that has no meaning.
Here’s what has meaning. The actual basis of our political system — which is about government that is consensual, limited, constitutional, and federal — is the U.S. Constitution. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution says the government can’t spy on the people except with probable cause, which means having the “criminal predicate” for a law enforcement operation that the talking heads were alluding to on Thursday.
Clapper apparently wants to gloss over the bright, constitutional line between spying on Russians (green light) and spying on the American citizens in the Trump campaign (red light, and you don’t move a muscle until it changes, after a judge agrees with your reasoning).
The Russians aren’t the threat to our political system here. Careless obfuscators like Clapper are the threat to our political system.
THE FULL STORY CONTINUES HERE
Join the conversation!
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.
Pledge of Allegiance Dropped at San Francisco School Board Meeting. Here’s What They Replaced it With.
Stevon Cook, the new president of the San Francisco school board, decided to get his term started off by dropping...
Could GOP Red Tide Crush Democratic Blue Wave in Midterm Elections?
As the November midterm elections barrel ever closer and closer, you can almost literally hear the wind being sucked out...
Sears CEO Steps Down, But That’s Only the Beginning of the Bad News
Sears Holdings Corporation has apparently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday, announcing that CEO Ed Lambert would be resigning...
VIDEO: Freed Pastor Asks Trump if He Can Pray for Him. His Response is Absolutely Perfect.
American pastor Andrew Brunson was finally released after two years of confinement in Turkey, news which was celebrated by Americans...
Elizabeth Warren Releases Results of DNA Test, Doesn’t Have the Effect She Hoped For.
Future presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been the butt of many jokes over the last few years, due in...