The Russians have been doping their athletes, but we are the dopes. In a scandal worse than failing to deal with ISIS, the Obama administration has been caught facilitating the nuclear buildups of Russia and Iran. The lives of millions of Americans and Israelis hang in the balance.
Playing a pivotal role over the years in America’s decline and the rapid rise of Russia and China stands Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state who met for an hour with Donald J. Trump on Wednesday. Kissinger has also served as a “tutor” to Hillary Clinton in foreign affairs. “I was very flattered when Henry Kissinger said I ran the State Department better than anybody had run it in a long time,” Mrs. Clinton remarked during one of the Democratic debates.
What some conservatives have cynically called the “invisible government,” as represented by the Council on Foreign Relations and such figures as Kissinger, seems well-positioned to come out on top in November no matter who wins.
For The Washington Post, the Russian doping scandal is a symptom of what we are up against, in terms of deception. Its editorial notes evidence that “Russian officials clandestinely carried out a doping program at the Sochi [Olympic] Games by giving athletes performance-enhancing drugs and then tampering with their urine samples to cover it up.” But those Olympic Games should have caused concern for another and more important reason. Soviet symbols, such as the hammer and sickle, were displayed with pride during the opening ceremony in Russia. Perhaps the Russians had not broken with their old Soviet past as many in the intelligence community had been led to believe.
After the invasion of Ukraine, Air Force General Philip M. Breedlove acknowledged the U.S. had been treating Russia as a “partner” in global affairs, and that it was a big mistake.
Have we been duped? Or are we the dopes? Or worse, has the U.S. intelligence community been infiltrated by the Russians or Russian agents? Why is Kissinger, a symbol of America’s decline, being looked to as a wise man for the future?
In the sports scandal, the Post found a connection to the FSB, the successor to the KGB that was run by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The paper explained, “The Russian Federal Security Service, a successor to the KGB, reportedly took part in the doping operation, subverting the Olympic ideal and soiling one of the globe’s most prestigious events.” The Post added this scandal to many others, including “the siphoning off of its riches by Mr. Putin’s cronies, the harassment and murder of Mr. Putin’s foes, the promotion of dishonest propaganda and the way Russia has sought to undermine Ukraine with violence. Russia’s behavior in Sochi makes the Reagan proverb ‘trust, but verify’ seem quaint. There can be no trusting as long as Mr. Putin is in charge.”
The Washington Post quoting Ronald Reagan? That may be a first.
So if the Russians cheated at sports, what about arms control agreements? We know that they have cheated there as well. The Obama administration admits Russia’s violations of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), but won’t do anything about it.
Rather than confront Russia, President Obama will visit Hiroshima to talk about the dangers of nuclear weapons. Without saying so explicitly, the purpose of the visit is to highlight how the United States ended World War II by using nuclear arms. That is supposed to be a black mark on our past.
Yet, our enemies are in the process of being able to turn the United States into a giant Hiroshima. Since dropping the pretense that Russia is our “partner” in foreign affairs, our top generals have been warning repeatedly that Russia is modernizing its nuclear arsenal and now poses an “existential” threat. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) has warned that the U.S. intelligence community badly misjudged Russian intentions, failing to anticipate Russian aggression in Europe and the Middle East. He compares the magnitude of this failure of intelligence to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on American soil.
Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy confirms the nuclear disadvantage we are facing. His interview with Dr. Mark Schneider, Senior Analyst with the National Institute for Public Policy, is chilling.
As the Russian threat grows, the administration has been caught lying about the nuclear deal with Iran. Frank Gaffney, in his own commentary, calls this “national security fraud,” noting that Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes, and others manipulated “the inexperience, incompetence and sympathy for the Obama agenda of much of today’s media…” The Iran nuclear agreement was a trick, a deception designed to fool the American people and their elected representatives. A few Senate Republicans have called for Rhodes to be fired or forced to resign his post.
Meanwhile, Russian delivery of S-300 missiles to Iran has been confirmed. A pro-Russian website is gleeful, noting, “The single most important aspect of this development is the fact that both the U.S. and Israel are known to be concerned that the Russian weapons will prevent a surprise airstrike on Iranian nuclear facilities.”
Enter Rep. Peter King (R-NY), who considered Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) absolutely unacceptable as a presidential candidate, even though Cruz had been in the forefront of demanding that the administration hold Russia accountable for its violations of the INF treaty.
King says he is willing to back Trump, even though he says the New York businessman has engaged in a “romance” with the Russian leader. “I still have real questions with him as far as national security” is concerned, King told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on May 15.
King had other concerns about Trump, saying, “I don’t think his Asian policy is coherent, because, again, if he does want to get in a trade war with China, he has to explain how that coincides with him wanting to use China against North Korea. If he wants to have leverage over China, how can he be talking about taking troops out of Japan and Korea? Does he know that it costs more to take the troops out than to leave them there? And does he realize that that would just weaken our leverage against China?”
On the same program, Robert Gates, the former U.S. secretary of defense, said, “You can’t have a trade war with China and then turn around and ask them to help you on North Korea. I have no idea what his policy would be in terms of dealing with ISIS. I worry a little bit about his admiration for Vladimir Putin.”
Michael Hayden, the former director of the CIA and NSA, says he just can’t vote for Trump, citing his stands on various security-related issues and lack of depth on foreign policy. He had previously stated that former Secretary of State Clinton, who lied about Benghazi, is better “prepared” than Trump for the presidency.
But why is Hayden’s judgment worth anything? The intelligence community he ran and represents has been a disaster. As Rep. Nunes indicated, the CIA didn’t anticipate Russian’s rearmament and military aggression. What’s more, the NSA was infiltrated by analyst Edward Snowden, who stole over one million secret documents and handed them over to our enemies.
Wired magazine published a photo of Snowden and Hayden at a “gala” together in 2011.
More recently, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, was photographed sitting next to Putin at a Moscow gala honoring the Moscow-funded propaganda channel RT (Russia Today). Flynn is now an adviser to Trump.
Russia has been caught doping its athletes, but the more dangerous form of doping consists of the dopes in the U.S. intelligence community who misjudged the Russians and now run around masquerading as experts and writing books on intelligence. Where is the accountability for these massive failures of intelligence? Who has been fired?
Writer Erik Shilling notes that, in July, the presumed presidential nominees—Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton—will get intelligence briefings, “featuring several hours of top secret information…”
Mrs. Clinton’s reputation as a security risk is well-known. Donald Trump’s “romance” with Putin has been acknowledged and criticized by one of his congressional supporters.
As my old friend “Jimmy from Brooklyn” says, “It’s amazing we’ve lasted this long.”
In this context, it is significant that Trump, who says he opposes “globalism,” met Wednesday with the top globalist, former Secretary of State Kissinger, a mentor to Mrs. Clinton.
It has been reported that Kissinger’s secretive firm, Kissinger Associates, Inc., does business in Russia. We know that Trump has been looking at business opportunities in Russia since the Soviet days. So they should get along well. In his introduction to the 2002 book, The New Russian Diplomacy, by Russian official Igor S. Ivanov, Kissinger discussed how Russia and the U.S. “have a rare opportunity to work together in building a new international system.” Despite Russian aggression in Europe and the Middle East, that appears to be Trump’s approach.
Mrs. Clinton’s Russian reset backfired, but Trump is prepared to try it again. America first? Don’t bet on it.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.