Not seeing the forest for the trees
By Mike Meyer
The older I get the more I realize that things are sometimes what they appear and sometimes not. The more important things are the more prone they are to multiple possible meanings. This is the nature of historical analysis and also the nature of all efforts to understand what is happening around us. The more formal this process is the more complex and the more aware we are of the limitations of a final statement of truth.
Some of the things that comes with age, I find, are sensitivity to being fooled by appearances, a reluctant but greater reliance on feeling for correctness, and a broader range of experience on how surprising human stupidity can be and how obvious things that happened should have been earlier in our experience of them. We would all like to think that we have better skills at figuring things out if, for no other reason, than that our ability to run away quickly is much reduced when we are old.
My own history as an historian, technologist, educator, and entrepreneur on top of youthful training in military intelligence has brought me to this point. And I think I’m as sure as I can be that there is a problem here much bigger than our media in the US have addressed.
All that being said, this essay is not research document but a review of both primary and secondary sources to contemporary history or current events as it was once called. I have written quite a bit on political problems of the US and other post industrial countries and specifically on technology driven paradigm changes that have triggered very large and planetary social transformations.
The real point is that I smell a rat. A very large rat. Modern history has many rats causing smelly disasters both great and small and that has been where I have spent much of my life with periodic incursions into ancient history also loaded with rats. While I am definitely predisposed to dislike much of modern American politics and have a very clear dislike for people such as Donald J. Trump my years of analysis looking for truth and expecting to be surprised makes it very hard for me to be anything other than careful in looking for problems or ignoring my inherent likes and dislikes.
While Trump is not a nice person and is generally been long recognized as much less capable than he thinks, he is also clearly a misogynist and racist who seems unable to avoid lying about anything with which he deals. Some people still think that he is cunning and capable in getting his way and accomplishing deals. I don’t see much in the way of evidence of that but that is my opinion.
The problem is that there has been a tremendous amount of information gathered about Mr. Trump over the last two years since his stunning political win in the 2016 US election. I don’t know any of it that is particularly favorable to Trump but it has been pieced together at different times, places and on different topics by different people with a range of motives and goals.
I’ve monitored this actively for the last two years and have spent a lot of time thinking and writing about the implications and possible results of all this. Hence my conclusion that a rat is being ignored in the confusion of the rat’s nest. There is too much information pointing in one direction but, even more importantly, there is too much strident information attempting to deny that the direction that this information is pointing even exists. And this is coming harder and faster than ever from some surprising sources. Things are going to break very soon.
Is there hidden information that I haven’t seen or heard of? Certainly because none of us have access to Mueller's months of intensive legal research but there really isn’t, as far as I know, anything that hasn’t at least been mentioned as possible in the generally available information. More significantly is the simple reality that this information has yet to be put together into a coherent whole. That is where the weight of evidence takes on gravitational importance.
All of the noise and commotion has come to be on Trump and his campaign’s involvement with Russian intelligence and Vladimir Putin. This, for reasons of being very careful, has been called from the election of Trump, Russian collusion. Collusion is a very good word because it has no real legal meaning other than involvement for some purpose. Trump is very active in tweeting “No Collusion” at every opportunity.
I and many other people have said repeatedly that there seems to be a great deal of evidence for a special relationship between Trump and Putin. Trump also makes a great effort, often against the wishes of his staff and his party to support Russian policy goals. Why is that? Many people would like to know.
Here is my conclusion and then a link to the best analysis done so far on this that confirms for me, maybe not for you, that the rat is a Russian rat and that rat’s name is Donald.
There is a new and steady stream of opinion in the American media and here at Medium calling into question the accusations of involvement with Russia. This has picked up and included new sources and authors over the last few months while others have retired or moved to other topics. Most of this now claims that there is no “Russiagate” and that the Russian involvement with the 2016 election and the hacking of the DNS email server, etc. is all misdirection from the “deep state”, i.e. the US intelligence agencies centered on the CIA.
The assumption here is not directly in support of Trump but in support of the “deep state” as the real perpetrators of a conspiracy to push military action against Russia. Since I’m laying this out from my position let me say that there is probably some truth to that. The problem we have in America is a major disruption of the old ruling order with a very different and decentralized new order being born. The old order and the billionaires who became billionaires on the back of predatory capitalism and the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned had come out of the US victory in WWII is coming to an end. We know that these people and their successors are the cause of the current economic collapse of the middle class and the political disaster typified by Trump. They are up to no good and have been for many, many years.
But there are rarely neatly defined and packaged collections of evil in the collapse of major empires and paradigms. These things, particularly at the planetary or just international level, are usually layers of evil and ancillary players conniving for the same things as well as their own special focus. And, we should know, that the good guys are often in cahoots with at least some of the bad guys. That is what makes it some damn hard to figure out. We also have bad guys who do some good things and good guys who do some things that prove to be very bad indeed. That is reality and it applies to motivations also.
Then there are the evil shits who have no qualms and no limits on what they will do for what they want. And there are times when these people work themselves up to some serious badness. The problem there is that serious badness usually locks them into relationships with similar people or worse. Up to this point we are dealing with the usual run of bad people but the last stage makes them into deadly rats and truly evil pieces of shit.
Let’s look at this a bit more carefully. All of the noise has been about Trump being aided by Russia in his election win. There is talk about the Steele Dossier from January 2017 that has elements that have been proven and elements that have not been proven as well as people constantly claiming that everything the dossier said was false and dictated by Hilary Clinton and her campaign. The later does not appear to be true and that document came from an agent of MI6 along with bits of intelligence (usually all you get) from other European agencies. It looks as if at least some of the Steele Dossier is true. In any case it anticipated the overall path of and was accurate in what has been found out and confirmed.
The really hard part of all these pieces is that they began to show up in the intelligence world back between 2012 and 2015. Intercepted telephone conversations, not by the US but by other agencies, that were collected because they were between Trump officials and known Russian intelligence agents. No one was interested in Trump then. But now it is very interesting indeed.
But let’s go back a little farther in time. Trump and his talkative son have publicly admitted that they survived the last very big bankruptcy, after which they were cut off by all American banks, courtesy of Russian money. In fact hundreds of millions of dollars flowed through Trump properties that could not be sold from the Russian oligarchs from 2002. There is a talk of money laundering. In fact this is classic money laundering. The assumption is that Mueller will probably take Trump out on New York money laundering charges. We will see.
I have said for much of the last year that all of the election tampering talk and the related issues are too hard to prove as anything. The money is where things show. The Russian techniques for recruiting agents is a combination of influence, blackmail, and loans. If you work with Russians they will always try to get something that they can use to corner you. We were taught that back in the 1970s in intelligence training. Trump was in Russia ‘being saved’ from 1987. That is when this started. There is always a very big delayed bill with semi official Russian help.
It appears to me that Trump has been a direct Russian agent since sometime in the late 1980s when he was still young. Why does he like Putin? He has absolutely no choice. Putin took over in 1999 and made money a primary tool of Russian intelligence. He has years of data on Trump going back to his first wife who was a Czechoslovakian citizen who was able to leave Czechoslovakia when no one could leave. She was able to move to Canada and then New York where she married Donald. She worked with Czech state security in order to visit her father. So these things go.
The connections are long and deep. Trump was not known to be political and was certainly not a hard right wing nationalist but somehow now Trump’s attitudes and policies bear a striking resemblance to Russian techniques for manipulating other countries. This is based on inflaming racial and ethnic tensions, and attacking allies. This is the model that was used in the take over of Ukraine partially orchestrated by Paul Manafort who then became Trump’s campaign manager and is now in jail pending trial.
One more piece, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal, we know that Putin suggested to Trump last summer that he should stop holding military exercises with South Korea. Trump’s staff talked him out of issuing that policy. Trump had to have a meeting with the North Korean dictator and was able to suddenly announce the new policy to the amazement of his staff as a token to Kim Jong Un.
Jonathon Chait has put this into a coherent whole for New York Magazine. I have simply summarized my views of this with the assistance of his excellent compilation. This is the question that needs to be asked. Please read the whole thing. It could all be coincidence or have harmless other meanings. I don’t think so.