Monday, April 29, 2019

Tit for Tat? Why Did Mueller Let Trump Off the Hook?

By Mike Whitney - April 29, 2019 at 04:06PM

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Why did Robert Mueller end the Russia investigation when he did? He could have let it drag it out for another year or so and severely hurt Trump’s chances for reelection. But he didn’t do that. Why?

Of course, we’re assuming that the investigation was never intended to uncover the truth. If it was, then Mueller would have interviewed Julian Assange, Craig Murray and retired members of the Intelligence Community (Ray McGovern, Bill Binney) who have shown that the Podesta emails were leaked by an insider (on a thumbdrive) not hacked by foreign agents. Mueller would have also seized the servers at DNC headquarters and done the necessary forensic investigation, which he never did. He also would have indicted senior-level agents at the FBI and DOJ who improperly obtained FISA warrants by withholding critical information from the FISA court. He didn’t do that either. Mueller did none of these things which simply proves that his final report was what many people had expected from the very beginning; a purely political document that twists the truth to achieve Mueller’s particular objectives. But to understand what those objectives are, we need to determine what the real goals of the investigation were. So, here they are:

1) To help sabotage Trump’s political agenda;

2) To create a cloud of illegitimacy over Trump’s election;

3) And to prevent Trump from implementing his plan to normalize relations with Russia.

These were the real objectives of the investigation, to create a fourth branch of government (Special Counsel) that had the power to keep Trump permanently on the defensive while the media made him out to be either an unwitting accomplice in Russian espionage or, even worse, a traitor. The aim was to rein him in and keep the pressure on until a case could be made for his impeachment. Mueller played a key role in this travesty. His assignment was to undermine Trump’s moral authority by brandishing the cudgel of criminal indictment over his head. This is how a D.O.J. appointee, who had never held public office in his life, became the most powerful man in Washington.

My question is simply this: Why did Mueller give up all that power when he did?

I think I can answer that, but first, we need a little more background. Check out this quote from candidate Trump in 2016:
We will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past…We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments…. Our goal is stability not chaos, because we want to rebuild our country [the United States]… We will partner with any nation that is willing to join us in the effort to defeat ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism …In our dealings with other countries, we will seek shared interests wherever possible and pursue a new era of peace, understanding, and good will.
Imagine how terrified the foreign policy establishment must have been when they heard Trump utter these words. No more regime change wars? Are you kidding me? That’s what we do: Regime-Change-Is-Us., and now this upstart, New York real estate tycoon is promising to do a complete 180 and move in another direction altogether. No more destabilizing coups, no more bloody military interventions, instead, we’re going to work collaboratively with countries like Russia and China to see if we can settle regional disputes and fight terrorism together? Really?

At the same time Trump was promising this new era of “peace, understanding, and good will,” Hillary Clinton was issuing her war whoop at every opportunity. Here’s candidate Hillary trying to drum up support for taking on the Russians in Syria:
The situation in Syria is catastrophic. And every day that goes by, we see the results of the Assad regime in partnership with the Iranians on the ground, and the Russians in the air… When I was Secretary of State, I advocated and I advocate today a no-fly zone and safe zones.
Interesting, isn’t it? Here’s Hillary, the “liberal” Democrat, pushing for a no-fly zone in Syria even though the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, stated clearly that “Right now… for us to control all of the airspace in Syria would require us to go to war against Syria and Russia.” In other words, if Hillary had been elected, she was all ready to flip the switch and start WWIII. ASAP. Is it any wonder why the establishment loved her?
'We have to work more closely with our partners and allies on the ground,' boomed Hillary, meaning that she fully supported the continued use of jihadist proxies in the fight against Assad. 'I do think the use of special forces, the use of enablers and trainers in Iraq, which has had some positive effects, are very much in our interests, and so I do support what is happening.'
War, war and more war, that’s the Hillary Doctrine in a nutshell.

It was Hillary’s relentless hawkishness that pushed leftists into the Trump camp, not that they ever believed that Trump was anything more than what he appeared to be, an unprincipled narcissist with an insatiable lust for power. But they did hope that his dovish comments would steer the country away from nuclear annihilation. That was the hope at least, but then everything changed. And after it changed, Mueller released his report saying: “Trump is not guilty after all!”

So, what changed?

Trump changed.

Think about it: In mid December 2018, Trump announced the withdrawal of all US troops in Syria within 30 days. But instead of withdrawal, the US has been sending hundreds of trucks with weapons to the front lines. The US has also increased its troop levels on the ground, the YPG (Kurdish militia, US proxies) are digging in on the Syria-Turkish border, and the US hasn’t lifted a finger to implement its agreements with NATO-ally Turkey under the Manbij Roadmap. The US is not withdrawing from Syria. Washington is beefing up its defenses and settling in for the long-haul. But, why? Why did Trump change his mind and do a complete about-face?

The same thing happened in Korea. For a while it looked like Trump was serious about cutting a deal with Kim Jong-un. But then, sometime after the first summit, he began to backpeddle. He never honored any of his commitments under the Panmunjom Declaration and he never reciprocated for Kim’s cessation of all nuclear weapons and ballistic missile testing. Trump has made no effort to “build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula” or to strengthen trust between the two leaders. Then, at the Hanoi Summit, Trump blindsided Kim by making demands that had never even been previously discussed. Kim was told that the North must destroy all of its chemical and biological weapons as well as its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs before the US will take reciprocal steps. In other words, Trump demanded that Kim completely and irreversibly disarm with the feint hope that the US would eventually lift sanctions.

Trump made these outrageous demands knowing that they would never be accepted. Which was the point, because the foreign policy establishment doesn’t want a deal. They want regime change, they’ve made that perfectly clear. But wasn’t Trump supposed to change all that? Wasn’t Trump going to pursue “a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past”?

Yes, that was Trump’s campaign promise. So, what happened?

There are other signs of capitulation too; like providing lethal weapons to the Ukrainian military, or nixing the short-range nuclear missile ban, or joining the Saudi’s genocidal war on Yemen, or threatening to topple the government of Venezuela, or stirring up trouble in the South China Sea. At every turn, Trump has backtracked on his promise to break with tradition and “stop toppling regimes and overthrowing governments.” …’ At every turn, Trump has joined the ranks of the warhawks he once criticized.

Trump is now marching in lockstep with the foreign policy establishment. In Libya, in Sudan, in Somalia, in Iran, in Lebanon, he is faithfully implementing the neocon agenda. Trump “the peacemaker” is no where to be found, while Trump the ‘madman with a knife’ is on the loose.

Is that why Mueller let Trump off the hook? Was there a quid pro quo: “You follow our foreign policy directives and we’ll make Mueller disappear?

It sure looks like it.

Reprinted with permission from Unz.com.

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