Make no mistake: we have just witnessed an operation by members of the CIA to take out a high official of our own government. An agency widely believed to have brought down democratically elected governments overseas is now practicing the same dark arts in domestic American politics. Almost certainly, its new head, Mike Pompeo, was not consulted.
Senator Chuck Schumer, of all people, laid out on January 2 what was going to happen to the Trump administration if it dared take on the deep state – the permanent bureaucracy that has contempt for the will of the voters and feels entitled to run the government for its own benefit:
New Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday that President-elect Donald Trump is "being really dumb" by taking on the intelligence community and its assessments on Russia's cyber activities.
"Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you," Schumer told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.
"So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he's being really dumb to do this."
Or, as the old rueful saying has it, "you've got to go along to get along." This means that we the people had better acknowledge that the bureaucrats have turned into our masters, and the old expression "public servant" is as ironic as anything Orwell came up with. Schumer knows this and likes it, because the deep state wants a bigger, more powerful government, just as he does.
Note that the law was broken by whoever leaked the transcripts to the media. Not only is the crime underlying the "scandal" being ignored, but the criminals are being hailed. On Morning Joe's first hour today, the host, a former congressman (i.e., a lawmaker) himself, called the leakers "heroes."
This interference in domestic politics by the CIA should be regarded as a major threat to our democracy, but of course our Trump-hating domestic media are reveling in a major point scored against the new president.
David P. Goldman (aka Spengler), writing on PJ Media, explains the level of hatred the CIA has for Flynn for daring to take on its spectacular failures:
… the CIA has gone out of its way to sandbag Flynn at the National Security Council. As Politico reports: "On Friday, one of Flynn's closest deputies on the NSC, senior director for Africa Robin Townley, was informed that the Central Intelligence Agency had rejected his request for an elite security clearance required for service on the NSC, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation."
Townley held precisely the same security clearance at the Department of Defense for seventeen years, yet he was blackballed without explanation. At DoD, Townley had a stellar reputation as a Middle East and Africa expert, and the denial of his clearance is hard to explain except as bureaucratic backstabbing.
... Gen. Flynn is the hardest of hardliners with respect to Russia within the Trump camp. In his 2016 book Field of Fight (co-authored with PJ Media's Michael Ledeen), Flynn warned of "an international alliance of evil movements and countries that is working to destroy us[.]
... The war is on. We face a working coalition that extends from North Korea and China to Russia, Iran, Syria, Syria, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua." The unsubstantiated allegation that he presides over a "leaky" National Security Council tilting towards Russia makes no sense. The only leaks of which we know are politically motivated reports coming from the intelligence community designed to disrupt the normal workings of a democratic government – something that raises grave constitutional issues.
Flynn is the one senior U.S. intelligence officer with the guts to blow the whistle on a series of catastrophic intelligence and operational failures. The available facts point to the conclusion that elements of the humiliated (and perhaps soon-to-be-unemployed) intelligence community is trying to exact vengeance against a principled and patriotic officer[.] ... The present affair stinks like a dumpster full of dead rats.
Note that the suspicions eagerly being raised by the media center on Trump being a pawn of Putin and Flynn secretly pledging fealty or some such absurd subordination. In other words, suspicions of treasonous behavior by the new president are being cultivated in the general public. We can expect the media to fan these flames at every opportunity.
Spengler also explains why the Logan Act references are insulting:
Senior officials speak to their counterparts in other countries all the time, and for obvious reasons do not want these conversations to become public. The intelligence community, though, was taping Flynn's discussions, and the transcripts (of whose existence we are told but whose contents we have not seen) were used to embarrass him.
This last point is critical. The entire "scandal" is based on innuendo. Flynn tripped over his own feet by misinforming Vice President Pence on the nature of his call and allowing the veep to issue a too sweeping denial of any discussion. If Flynn had said in his conversation with the Russian ambassador that we will discuss the sanctions after Trump takes office, he might well have told Pence that they did not discuss the sanctions. And the CIA leakers could have used the appearance of the word "sanctions" in their transcript to brand Pence a liar. We don't know, and for some reason, nobody is gaining access to the actual transcripts so that we may see the content. Perhaps the congressional investigations to come will gain access. But Flynn is now gone, and media memes have been firmly planted in the public mind.
The Flynn Affair is a huge scandal, all right. But the media are misdirecting our attention toward the lesser dimension while they studiously ignore the real threat to our democracy.
Genera; Michel T. Flynn. Does he look like a traitor to you?
My dear friend, you have discovered what was revealed to me years ago. Our only true Enemy is the lust to gain Power and Dominance,–– the desire to subjugate others and bend them to our will, –– the lust for Vengeance –– the determination to Get Even at all costs. So POWER, itself, is our greatest Enemy.
It doesn't matter whether it comes from the Left, the Right, the Church, the State, the Rich, the Poor, the Black, the White, the Lame, the Halt or the Blind. Whenever we long to "play God," instead of humbly submitting ourselves to HIS Will, we will continue to suffer and to cause others to suffer in return. It IS that simple, but few would ever admit it, because the desire to OWN and DIRECT our lives is so strong it makes us blind –– or even hostile –– to the means of our Salvation.
To wish you Good Luck would be trite, so instead –– because I am older even than your own father –– I dare advise you to "Lift up thine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh our help." Please don't settle complacently for what you already know, –– or like to think you know –– always strive for more instead, and to lift your gaze ever higher.
Though He remains invisible to the human eye, God is ALL-in-ALL –– the ineffable, inexhaustible, inescapable, ever-present, super-abundant SOURCE of Life, Light, Energy, Creativity, Joy, Truth and Love. He is Alpha and Omega.
There are many roads that lead to God. I have found Him most easily in the realm of music by composers such as Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, Brahms and a number of others who were blest to act as WINDOWS letting those blest with spiritual vision to see limited amounts of God's Heavenly Light.
There is no darkness when one achieves even momentary unity with the Holy Spirit. May you find ever increasing amounts of Wisdom, Joy, Satisfaction, Peace and Fulfillment as you continue your Quest.
~ § ~
The poignancy of Kurt SlverFiddle's farewell to blogging reminded me of the following poem by W. H. Auden. See if you can understand the the strong association I feel with the perplexities and lamentations Kurt has revealed to us. I dared to write a sequel or addendum to Auden's opus that says in poetic language what I tried to say to Kurt more plainly in many comments over the past several years.
_______ O What Is That Sound ________
O what is that sound which so thrills the ear
Down in the valley drumming, drumming?
Only the scarlet soldiers, dear,
The soldiers coming.
O what is that light I see flashing so clear
Over the distance brightly, brightly?
Only the sun on their weapons, dear,
As they step lightly.
O what are they doing with all that gear,
What are they doing this morning, morning?
Only their usual manoeuvres, dear,
Or perhaps a warning.
O why have they left the road down there,
Why are they suddenly wheeling, wheeling?
Perhaps a change in their orders, dear,
Why are you kneeling?
O haven't they stopped for the doctor's care,
Haven't they reined their horses, horses?
Why, they are none of them wounded, dear,
None of these forces.
O is it the parson they want, with white hair,
Is it the parson, is it, is it?
No, they are passing his gateway, dear,
Without a visit.
O it must be the farmer that lives so near.
It must be the farmer so cunning, so cunning?
They have passed the farmyard already, dear,
And now they are running.
O where are you going? Stay with me here!
Were the vows you swore deceiving, deceiving?
No, I promised to love you, dear,
But I must be leaving.
O it's broken the lock and splintered the door,
O it's the gate where they're turning, turning;
Their boots are heavy on the floor
And their eyes are burning.
~ WH Auden (1907-1973)
______ O What is the Source ______
O yes, dear friends, it is coming, coming.
But whatever will be the source?
Will it be the Muslims, Muslims?
Or day traders at the Bourse?
We know it might be the Marxists, Marxists
The Marxists on a Pale Horse.
Perhaps it will be the false Christians, Christians
Who'd nail sinners they hate to a Cross?
Perhaps it will be the Perverts, Perverts?
The Gays who've been gathering force?
Perhaps it will be our Elders, Elders
Whose minds have been gathering moss?
Perhaps it will be the young Lovers, Lovers
Who cavort in the bracken and gorse?
O we know it is coming, coming,
But we cannot acknowledge the source.
Perhaps it might be you and me?
Yes! Who else could it be, of course?
The government has made it almost impossible to prescribe desperately needed painkillers. Last week, my two stepsons’ father, a man who loved life, killed himself. I would like to tell you why.
Two years ago, a 62-year-old father of three named Bruce Graham was standing on a ladder, inspecting his roof for a leak, when the ladder slipped out from under him. He landed on top of the ladder, on his back, breaking several ribs, puncturing a lung, and tearing his intestine, which wasn’t detected until he went into septic shock.
Following surgery, he lapsed into a two-week coma. In retrospect, it’s unfortunate that he awoke from that coma, because for all intents and purposes, his life ended with that fall. Not because his mind was affected; his mind was completely intact until the moment he took his life.
His life ended because, while modern medicine was adept enough to keep him alive, it was unable or unwilling to help him deal with the excruciating pain that he experienced over the next two years. And life in constant, excruciating pain, with no hope of ever alleviating it, is not worth living.
As a result of the surgery, Bruce developed abdominal scar-tissue –– structures known as adhesions. Adhesions can be horribly painful, but they are difficult to diagnose because they don’t appear in imaging, and no surgery in America or in Mexico, where out of desperation he also sought treatment, could remove them permanently.
Many doctors dismiss adhesions, regarding the patient’s pain as psychosomatic. The pain prevented him from getting adequate sleep. Nor could he eat without causing the pain to spike for hours. By the time of his death, he had lost almost half his body weight.
Prescription painkillers — opioids — relieved much of his pain, or at least kept it to a tolerable level. But after the initial recuperation period, no doctor would prescribe an opioid despite the fact that this man had a well-documented injury and no record of addiction to any drug, including opioids.
Doctors either wouldn’t prescribe them on an ongoing basis, because they feared losing their medical license or being held legally liable for addiction or overdose, or because they deemed Bruce a hypochondriac.
The federal government and states such as California have made it extremely difficult for physicians to prescribe painkillers for an extended period of time. The medical establishment and government bureaucrats have decided that it is better to allow people to suffer terrible pain than to risk exposing them to the danger of opioid addiction.
They believe it is better to allow any number of innocent people to suffer hideous pain for the rest of their lives than to risk having any patient getting addicted and potentially dying from an overdose.
Dr. Stephen Marmer, who teaches psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, told me that when he was an intern, he treated children with terminal cancer — and even they were denied painkillers lest they become addicted.
Pain management seems to be the Achilles’ Heel of modern medicine — for philosophical reasons as well as medical reasons.
Remarkably, Dr. Thomas Frieden, the head of the Centers for Disease Control, wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine last year that “whereas the benefits of opioids for chronic pain remain uncertain, the risks of addiction and overdose are clear.”
Isn’t accidental death from overdose, while allowing patients to have some level of comfort, preferable to a life of endless severe pain?
To most of us, this is cruel. Isn’t accidental death from overdose, while allowing patients to have some level of comfort, preferable to a life of endless severe pain?
Though I oppose suicide on religious and moral grounds and because of the emotional toll it takes on loved ones, I make an exception for people with terrible, unremitting pain.
If that pain could be alleviated by painkilling medicines, and laws or physicians deny them those medicines, it is they, not the suicide, who are morally guilty.
Bruce was ultimately treated by the system as an addict, not worthy of compassion or dignity.
On the last morning of his life, after what was surely a long, lonely, horrific night of sleeplessness and agony, Bruce made two calls, two final attempts to acquire the painkillers he needed to get through another day. Neither friend could help him. Desperate to end the pain, he picked up a gun, pressed it to his heart, and pulled the trigger. In a final noble act, he did not shoot himself in the head, even though that is the more certain way of dying immediately. He had told a friend some weeks earlier that if he took his life, he didn’t want loved ones to experience the trauma-inducing mess that shooting himself in the head would leave. Instead, he shot himself in the heart.
An autopsy confirmed the presence of abdominal adhesions, as well as significant arthritis in his spine. May Bruce Graham rest in peace. Some of us, however, will not live in peace until physicians’ attitudes and the laws change.