By: Victor Davis Hanson
“American politics over the last half decade has become immersed in a series of conspiracy charges leveled by Democrats against their opponents that, in fact, are happening because of them and through them.
The consequences of these conspiracies becoming reality and reality revealing itself as conspiracy have been costly to American prestige, honor, and security. As we move away from denouncing realists as conspiracists, and self-pronounced “realists” are revealed as the true conspirators, let’s review a few of the more damaging of these events.
Russians on the Brain
Consider that the Trump election of 2016, the transition, and the first two years of the Trump presidency were undermined by a media-progressive generated hoax of “Russian collusion.”
The “bombshell” and “walls are closing in” mythologies dominated the network news and cable outlets. It took five years to expose them as rank agit-prop.
Robert Mueller and his “dream team” consumed $40 million of Americans’ money and 22 months of our time—to find the nothingburger that most of the country already knew was nothing. Yet the subtext of the 2018 Democratic takeover of the House was the media narrative that Trump, as Hillary Clinton put it, was an “illegitimate” president, due to Russian collusion.
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper claimed on national television that Trump was a “Russian asset.” Former CIA head John Brennan assured the nation that the president was “treasonous,” due to his supposed “lies to the American people.”
All sorts of politicians, retired military, and news anchors echoed the charges. The lies and myths of has-been British spy Christopher Steele made him a leftist hero. They were repeated ad nauseam as truth.
FBI grandees like James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Kevin Clinesmith, and others destroyed their careers in their obsessions over Trump. In the process of destroying themselves, they also nearly wrecked the reputation of the FBI. The Pentagon has the lowest popular support in modern memory. The CIA is more feared by millions of Americans than by our enemies.
Steele could not produce any evidence to back up his scurrilous charges. The inspector general of the Department of Justice found little evidence to substantiate any of the charges. James Comey and Robert Mueller under oath both pleaded either memory problems or denied any knowledge about the FBI’s use of Steele and the role his fake dossier played.
Most of the televised accusers, when under oath before Congress, admitted they had no evidence for their flamboyant charges. Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who claimed the dossier was authentic and that Trump was compromised, has repeatedly been revealed as a liar. In various televised House hearings, he kept getting caught either fabricating, misrepresenting, or warping evidence before his own committee.
No matter. Hillary Clinton and the Left kept pounding “collusion.” The more it was proven false, the more they shouted the lie.
Finally, special counsel John Durham’s investigations, some authentic media investigative reporting, and the preponderance of evidence showed not only that Trump did not collude with the Russians, but that the entire charge was a sick sort of projection on the part of Hillary Clinton and her vassals.
Steele concocted the election-cycle fantasy using a former Clintonite totem in Moscow. Another source was the now indicted Igor Danchenko ( a “primary sub-source”), who was working at the leftist Brookings Institution while feeding Steele.
A cynic might look at this sad chapter and conclude that Hillary Clinton sought to destroy her opponent by paying Christopher Steele to manufacture fantasies fabricated from left-wing and former Clinton associates. Then she used the media, the FBI, the CIA, and the Justice Department to seed the farce while hiding her own role behind three firewalls including the DNC, the Perkins Coie law firm, and Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS.
The ultimate irony?
Hillary Clinton did collude with those claiming to have Russian connections to warp an election, and she projected her likely illegal activity onto the target of her attacks. No conspiracist could trump such reality. Will Merrick Garland look at her role in this episode as he conducts his insurrectionist investigations concerning efforts to undermine an election? (Read more: American Greatness, 1/16/2022) (Archive)