Saturday, October 24, 2020
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This rottenness all goes back to Obama

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EVER the loose cannon, Donald Trump broke a promise to his many doubters when he said he would behave presidentially if elected. But the real blame for the deep crisis in US politics lies with the power mania of the Democratic party and one man in particular – its hero of heroes, Barack Obama.

With the fake Russiagate saga, President Obama corrupted the government in ways he could never have managed without the conspiracy and omerta of those around him and the protection of an obscenely idolatrous media. He was never held to account for any of it either at the time or since.

It is unclear how the integrity of American politics recovers from the havoc Obama wreaked, culminating in his use of the government to try to prevent Trump’s election and, when that failed, to destroy his presidency. Everything that happened afterwards – from the Resistance, and Mueller investigation to impeachment – was set in motion by Obama.

The former president with whom Obama has most in common is his fellow government subverter Richard Nixon who, prior to Trump, was the Democratic bête noire without peer. It is strange company to share for a man who ‘was like a god’ in the words of one media sycophant.

Trump, if re-elected, will not be the curative for America’s demented politics. He’s incorrigible. His second four years are likely to be as tumultuous as the first. Nor will Biden. Even if he denies it, Democrats under his presidency are preparing to rig Washington’s political structures in ways that will favour them and their agenda for the foreseeable future.

The Chinese say that a fish rots from the head, which aptly describes Obama’s presidency. He promised hope and change, which are usually banalities in the mouths of politicians but sounded like a clarion call in his. Americans bought it happily because he was cool, intelligent and inspiring; the time was right for the first black president. He came from Central Casting bearing promises of redemption and renewal.

The media lauded him as ‘no drama Obama’. That was possible only because they ignored his misdeeds in office. Scandals including the tax agency spying on Conservative groups, gun-running to Mexican drug gangs, who used them to kill a US border agent, and Benghazi, which cost the life of an American ambassador, never harmed the president because the media paid no attention to or minimised them, even as he put some of them under surveillance for suspect loyalty.

No president has been scandal-free except, bizarrely, Trump, against whom no criminal accusation or dirty trick has ever been substantiated. Obama would have survived his even if they’d been investigated – stuff happens, lieutenants go too far. But with the IRS affair, the public – and the media if they had a shred of honesty – should have seen the tentacles of partisan politics reaching into forbidden areas of the government in order to damage opponents.

 In 2013, the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) was caught having deliberately delayed granting valuable tax exemptions to conservative groups such as the Tea Parties to hamper their ability to fight on equal financial terms with Democrats in the previous year’s presidential election. Applications from equivalent Democratic groups had been nodded through.

It wasn’t connected with Russian collusion but it was a forerunner, and by the time it came to the 2016 election, idolised Obama may well have felt he had total immunity from public scrutiny.

The Russian collusion scam began with the campaign of Hillary Clinton. From there, it went to the intelligence services and the FBI which answers to the Department of Justice which was headed by Eric Holder. Holder boasted that he was Obama’s wingman. How would he not have told the president?

Obama’s precise role is an enigma as far as what he knew, when he knew it and what he did about it; there is no smoking gun and likely never will be. We know he was briefed by CIA chief John Brennan in July 2016. It can be surmised that he closely followed the course of the FBI and the spooks’ subsequent investigations. But just as a spectator?

He may never have given a traceable order. However, using the power of the government for party political purposes which undoubtedly happened crossed a line that would have been impeachable had he been caught. This is precisely why Nixon was forced out.

When, before the election, FBI agent Peter Strzok described the collusion probe as an insurance policy, what against exactly was not clear. Trump’s election, obviously, but in what form would it pay out? The obvious beneficiary was Obama who had an interest in insuring himself against Clinton’s defeat and its aftermath.

He knew that Trump intended to undo as much of his legacy as possible, rewriting Obamacare and withdrawing from the Paris climate treaty and the nuclear deal with Iran. The purpose of Hillary’s election from Obama’s point of view was to safeguard these crown jewels of his presidency.

Stripped of the clouds of media obfuscation, misinformation and anonymous sources which have swirled around this bewildering saga, this is what Russiagate and Obama’s part in it look like in the raw: a plot to cripple a rival candidate by using law enforcement powers illegally. It is also clear that Obama ensured the investigations would continue to dog Trump after the former left office.

The prosecution of General Flynn for allegedy lying to the FBI over a telephone conversation with the Russian ambassador and the leak of the salacious Steele report were meant to ensure Trump would be firefighting from day one to fend off the Democrats’ claim that he was a Russian asset.

Democrats have never relaxed their pressure on Trump to deflect attention from Obama and to keep their base riled for revenge against the usurper. They still talk as if the Mueller investigation proved Trump guilty and that impeachment, on the word of a second-hand whistleblower who never gave evidence, was justified.

Surrounded by loyalists, Obama is 99.9 per cent safe from any accountability. Special prosecutor John Durham, leading a criminal investigation of Russiagate’s promoters, will not report until after the election. There have been hints he will recommend charges but we don’t know who is concerned and how high up the food chain they will go.

It’s believable that a lot of information is withheld from Trump and his appointees to this day by government officials who are hostile to the administration and wish to frustrate it wherever they can.

It is unthinkable that Obama was not kept fully in the loop about everything touching his own government and fair to suppose his hand was on the tiller of the purely political Russia investigation even if he gave no direct orders himself.

If true, that alone makes him culpable of betraying the trust placed in him never to abuse the vast powers of the presidency in ways worse even than Nixon. But he’s safe. His halo may be tarnished when and if everything is over, but it will still be in place.

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Donald Forbes
Donald Forbes is a retired Anglo-Scottish journalist now living in France who during a 40-year career worked in eastern Europe before and after communism.

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