For John, BLUF: If you repeat a lie often enough people begin to believe it, people with the power to change things. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Here is the sub-headline:
How that might have been the act that got us the special counsel investigation.
From The Weekly Standard, by Mr Eric Felten, 27 April 2018.
Here is the lede plus one:
For example, it was quickly noted by scholars of the Steele dossier that the House document reveals (or, if one is dubious of the House Intel majority’s credibility, one can say “asserts” instead) that it was President Barack Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, who helped engineer the public release of the dossier. That release may well be the essential act in producing the special counsel investigation that continues to hang over the Trump administration.The thing is, if you scream "Hitler" often enough you begin to believe it.♠ The end result is that you feel you must act as though the President really was the reincarnation of Adolph Hitler.
Here’s what makes the dossier release essential—and no, it isn’t that the release exposed credible evidence of collusion: After more than a year of investigations there is still no evidence (at least no evidence that has been made public) corroborating the dossier’s significant allegations against Trump. Rather, without the publication of the dossier, President Trump would not have pressed FBI director James Comey to prove the dossier’s allegations false. That pressure is central to the narrative that Trump fired Comey in an effort to obstruct the bureau’s Russia investigation. That narrative led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel; the question of whether the president attempted to obstruct justice is reportedly the main issue Mueller’s team is still investigating.
So how did the dossier get released? It’s important to remember that, for all of its treatment as some kind of “intelligence” report, the dossier was no sort of official intelligence at all. It was Clinton-funded opposition research. The tight wraps on the dossier came not from any government prohibition on its publication, but because the many media outlets in possession of the document were hesitant to make public claims that, for all their efforts, they had been unable to verify, confirm, or corroborate.
The question is, how far are folks willing to go?
From Breitbart we have this headline today: "Dershowitz: Dems ‘Prepared to Eliminate Civil Liberties’ to Get Trump – I’m Also Critical of GOP on This".
The first paragraph reads:
On Saturday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz stated, “Democrats and left-wingers obviously think President Trump is the devil, and they’re prepared to eliminate civil liberties.” He also criticized Republicans for their trying to expand criminal law and grounds for impeachment to go after the Clintons.I immediately flash on the scene between Saint Thomas more and his son-in-law, Hugh Roper, in A Man for All Seasons. And two paragraphs down the article makes the same point.
And, the Professor finishes up:
It’s always a mistake to expand the criminal law or the grounds for impeachment against your political enemies. Because it’s going to come back to bite you in the rear end.Professor Dershowitz is not wrong here.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.
Regards — Cliff
♠ Giving rise to the expression, "Drink their own bathwater."