Ongoing: Five top-level pings on the Russiagate/Spygate maneuver war

Occupying the position they are compelled to attack us in.

We recently passed the five-year mark of the public breaking of the Russiagaet/Spygate saga (which I reckon to the day the Steele dossier burst forth upon us, 10 January 2017), and a brief stock-taking is in order.

To keep these points crisply punctuated, they will be brief.  This is an overview, not an in-depth treatment. 

I include here the points I consider essential to useful analysis of the “-gates.”  There is a very great deal more that can be said, but these are the points that keep us on track.

Ping One

Russiagate and Spygate were orchestrated efforts in a maneuver war.  Russiagate – the hoax – was a maneuver campaign.  Spygate was an intelligence-gathering and influence operation.  In targeting Americans, it was an abuse of government intelligence and law enforcement tools.

Neither effort was a good-faith or justifiable response to anything done by an American (or by a Russian, for that matter.  Responding properly to Russian activities would have entailed a whole other set of tactics).

Rather, the -gates were attacks on offense.  Russiagate in particular sought to achieve surprise, the unexpected, a successful flanking move.  It was an extended and comprehensive attempt to catch an elected official unawares and deny him the due-process charter he was elected to fulfill.

The discipline in which most of the maneuvers subsisted was information operations.  In its way, Russiagate was even more elaborate than the massive deception effort for the Normandy invasion on D-Day 1944.  It was not politics as usual.  It was an all-out assault on a presidency, seeking to masquerade as a response to events.

Ping Two

Russiagate and Spygate were twin operations undertaken for a much larger and longer-running purpose than narrowly-based analysis can perceive.

They were not about Hillary Clinton’s email woes or Barack Obama’s legacy, or even just winning the election by slinging dirt.  They brought together and incorporated too many existing threads in human affairs to be about purposes so small.  If they’d been about those matters, both Obama’s legacy and Hillary would have been thrown under the bus long since.

Both -gates, it’s true, emerged in their signature forms around the 2016 election.  I believe they were more virulent than they would otherwise have been because Trump was the Republican candidate.  The continuation of Russiagate/Spygate tactics well beyond the election was aimed at interfering in Trump’s presidency as much as possible and rendering him ineffective.

There were certainly features of the onslaught that were sharpened because of its specific application.  And I am not arguing here that the same tactics would have been used against any Republican in 2016.  That’s not the point.

The point is that the purpose was tailored to where 2016 fit into a preexisting strategy for reshaping – and largely neutralizing – America.

Consider this most important of points.  No one in the Democratic party controlled all the elements of power that went into the organization of the -gates.  Hillary Clinton is usually fingered as the chief instigator – but she actually controlled relatively little of the Russiagate operation, and none at all of Spygate.  She didn’t control the media in Russiagate, or the bleed-over areas of complicit foreign actors like the Maltese professor and his lawyer, or the Italian intelligence agencies, or the Australians or the MI6 retirees club in the UK.

Obama didn’t control those things either, although he (and his lieutenants) did control the agencies of the U.S. government.  Spygate was wholly an Obama administration operation.

But even that fact about Spygate has its explanatory limits if viewed through a narrow lens.  The really significant thing about Spygate isn’t so much that it involved spying on a candidate as that such spying had already become widespread and routine several years before that candidate ran for president.

(ODNI transparency report graphic, 2017)

The -gates had more the character of a state-of-the-art info operation being used against the American election and the successful candidate’s presidency.  Apparently this was done as a means of reshaping – or counterattacking – political conditions that had gone in an unexpected direction.

For my money, the larger and longer-running goal served by Russiagate and Spygate is related to the self-anointed global “civil society’s” project of implementing its agenda.  The agenda has been well and openly laid out over the last 30 years, through instruments like the declarations of the Rio Summit, the extensive Agenda 21 plan of the UN, and the World Economic Forum’s vision of a “Great Reset” in the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

There’s nothing furtive about it; no conspiracist powers of divination are required to discern what it’s got in mind.  The documents outlining the agenda are actually less cagey and euphemistic than the typical Democratic Party platform.  It’s not a conspiracy; it’s a plan, or at least a vision, with a strategy.  They don’t care if you know.  They video themselves talking about it all the time.

It’s a large, broad-scoped plan, long-running, in composition and execution since the end of the Cold War; the object of highly-invested commitment, and entrenched in the institutions of government, information, and industry.

Americans electing Donald Trump threw a monkey wrench in that machinery.

Trump, Destroyer of Worlds

One reason the whole institutional media infosphere was so Johnny-on-the-spot for the -gates is that, as with the long-proven vulnerability to abuse of Section 702 queries (surely the most exploited intel weak-point in history), the institutional infosphere has been the handmaiden of ideologues for years.  They’ve got the terms of exchange down pat.

Even commercial business has been busy buying its way into the civil-society clubs.  And government?  Forget the national government.  Everybody’s national government has been writing proposals in Agenda 21 language for two or three decades now.  Yawn.  Local government is where it’s at – and it’s been there a lot longer than you might think too.

This is the larger purpose disrupted by the election of Trump in 2016.  I believe there’s more to it than ideology; that reference a few sentences ago to “investment” wasn’t just a metaphor.  The Democracy Alliance donors don’t get together every year for close-hold sessions on influencing American politics out of an access of ideological enthusiasm.  The control they want to exert is brokered through politics as a rule now, and it hits their bottom line.

But along that line, there’s no one, single thing it’s “all about.”  It isn’t all about energy, or profit, or opportunities for cronyism.  Power has many dimensions, and ultimately that’s what it’s about.

Just keep in mind, the plan is a vision, not the infallible design of a system.  The civil society stratum doesn’t actually control everything that happens to it, or to us.  It has a lot of resources and can make its attacks and counterattacks felt, but it doesn’t know what the outcome will be when it perpetrates a maneuver.  It’s just fighting a war, like any war, for goals its has defined.  That, in a strategic sense, is what’s going on.

Ping Three

Russiagate and Spygate were instances in a maneuver campaign that’s still going on, and is still largely a matter of info ops.

Neither the strategic purpose nor the method is in the rearview mirror.  They are both still with us.  The purpose and method continued throughout the Trump presidency (e.g., in the impeachment campaigns, the second of which, ridiculously, persisted right on through Trump’s departure from office).

The campaign of stonewalling the efforts to hold good-faith audits of the 2020 vote is a continuation of the maneuver campaign; it its case, a series of blocking maneuvers.  The very last thing it is is the rule of law.  If the rule of law prevailed, unimpeded audits (not mere recounts) of the vote, provided for in state statutes, would have already been completed and reported out, instead of being stalled by lawsuits for months on end.

Actual driving. Then-VP Joe Biden shows off his Corvette Stingray to Jay Leno in 2016. Jay Leno’s Garage video, YouTube

Inflationary attacks on the American economy, especially piling them on top of suppressing energy U.S. production; gutting the proper function of America’s southern border; clinging bitterly to the powers of the COVID-19 crisis; harassing the people with gratuitous manifestos on contentious social issues – all of these are maneuvers with affirmative strategic purpose.  Not one of them is justified, much less dictated, by circumstance.  They’re all discretionary, and hence all elements of an offensive attack on American’s social and economic stability.

Not surprisingly, they involve extensive info ops, including outright propaganda and gaslighting so obvious as to be risible.

The maneuver war hasn’t ended.  It never does, when someone seeks power he doesn’t expect you to cede to him voluntarily.

It’s essential to keep in mind that the maneuver war is not behind us.  Mining the Russiagate and Spygate campaigns for clues, explanations, and illustrations remains highly relevant.  How they were doing it is how they’re doing it still.

Ping Four

This will be some readers’ favorite ping.  I am frequently asked if I think Trump has a plan; implicitly a plan for reclaiming the presidency.  These are interlocutors who know we should expect more maneuvers, and are really hoping Trump will be making one.

My answer is that if he does have a plan, it starts with something he can’t force:  at least one state legislature deciding on its own to decertify its 2020 presidential vote.  If he’s waiting for something, it’s that.  This, by the way, is what I identified back in 2020 as the “main effort” to do something about the election, and it’s the one possibility that’s still in any sense realistic.

I don’t know what to do if that happens (nor do I envision it happening any time soon), but I’d guess Trump and his advisors have thought it through.  Decertification by a legislature is the due-process move that would be actionable, as opposed to any other move.

I see signs that Trump is still thinking about it in his continued references to righting the wrongs of the 2020 election.  Trump is a tactical communicator, as I’ve said often.  He means to shape expectations and events with what he says.  He’s never just letting off steam.  In that sense, his persistence in raising the point is his own series of maneuvers.  He actually talks about it carefully, phrasing the issue as one of affected states proving that the irregularities of the 2020 election are actionable and sufficient to decertify – which is the due-process, rule-of-law line to hew to.

The Arizona audit in progress, May 2021. ABC News video, YouTube

Trump left office peacefully without doing anything other than urging Vice President Pence to reject the Electoral College result.  (A controversial proposal, to be sure, but not a lawless one.  I didn’t agree that the law supported it, but that doesn’t mean it was a breach of due process to argue for it.)

Confronted over a four-year span with unprecedented provocations and outrages against due process from congressional Democrats, and even from his own federal agencies, Trump adhered remarkably well to due-process responses.  I would expect him to continue that pattern.

It remains to be seen if due process has an answer for what ails America.  We know from the perpetration of the Russiagate hoax and the Spygate abuse that there’s a segment of the political establishment – a “cabal” (TIME’s word, not mine) – that has already violated due process six ways to Sunday to fight its maneuver war.  It’s geared up to continue doing so.  I hope due process is agile enough to win such a war, but the jury’s still out on that.

Ping Five

This is an oddball ping, but it deals with an increasingly noticeable phenomenon. 

There are real and quite remarkable signs that at a certain level we are losing an ability to communicate with each other, even as technology seems to make the opportunity for communication ever more universal and instantaneous.

Whether it’s our political leaders gurgling unintelligibly, people talking past each other on social media, media routinely gaslighting us, packaged news striking us viscerally as “off,” or TikTok videos in which users melt down in primal shrieks and seem to think they’ve made a rational point, communication is breaking down for us.  Fewer people by the day listen to the actual words of others, or take the trouble to express what they mean, as opposed to deploying buzzphrases to ritually signify their affinities. 

This won’t work to the advantage of those who envision ever-greater centralization and control.  To achieve those conditions, communication has to work so successfully that outliers – dissenters, the uncollectivized – actually fall outside the norm.  But we’re approaching a point where there may be no norm to be collectivized into.

The Tower of Babel (detail), Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1563. (Via Wikipedia)

It feels like a modern collapse of the Tower of Babel (something I’ve written about before):  a sort of “scattering” in place in which people are increasingly unable to adopt common purposes, except among those who communicate in the same way.

I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing.  I can see how it could save us from much that we might otherwise sleepwalk into complacently.  In any case, it’s something we could not have foreseen, or set in motion by our own hand.  We have thought of our civilizational progress as making us invincible for a long time now, and wouldn’t have imagined losing something so basic.

Hope and a future are easier to hang onto if we see clearly – and fortunately they don’t depend on us, but on a power much higher than ourselves.

Feature image:  The Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Washington, D.C.  Wikipedia

3 thoughts on “Ongoing: Five top-level pings on the Russiagate/Spygate maneuver war”

  1. Interesting. I do think that there is one additional goal in respect to the ‘-gate’ assault on the presidency of Donald Trump and that was to drive him from office and replace him with a ‘nice’ compliant milquetoast that they groomed and set the ticket up with; namely Mike Pence. He’d have been fine for their schemes because he was compliant and surrenderist in his demeanor. He was also, like William Barr, too wound into the Establishment (Deep State – if you will) to actually have the moral backbone to push back on what he recognized as being anti-Constitutional activities by his friends, neighbors, and country club associates. Successful wars of maneuver require a certain amount of passivity in the opponent.

    I do think that there is still that defeatist/surrenderist attitude when it comes to the state level attempts in the suspect jurisdictions in regard to 2020 election audits and responses. It was obvious from the Arizona audit that fraudulent/unadjudicated ballots being shoveled into the system and counted via electronic means moved the needle to the Left in that election. It is also obvious from the former Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief’s audit that the election in that state was massively cheated as well. Has now resulted in a complete inertial stoppage for the same reasons that William Bar couldn’t find it within himself to proceed with any meaningful legal actions to identify the fraud and expose it. The concept that exposing fraud, and even in form repudiating it, in this case by decertifying a vote count, is an empty gesture is largely an act of political suicide and moral cowardice. Just because the embezzlers got away with the theft and the crime was not immediately discovered doesn’t mean an exhaustive audit and public exposure of the perpetrators wouldn’t be a form of common-sense justice.

    The major portion of the cover given to the perps by their media and the “cabal” is the absolute support of the perfection of the election and the gratuitous denial of any, no matter how justified by facts and analysis, accusations of malfeasance should be exposed as a fraud in and of itself. Until there are enough public figures in positions of authority who possess the courage to expose the plot and execution the morass will deepen and the separation of the electorate from the votes will continue until voting is largely superfluous. A Beau Gest..

    William Barr and his like-minded compatriots like the former Wisconsin Chief Justice have the opportunity to lay bare the facts but choose their peerages over the republic, instead.

    OAB

  2. This is a brilliant summary. (I have a Solzhenitsyn quote to track down on Ping Five.)

    I suggest we adopt the hashtag #TheGreatWar for this level of analysis (as we ourselves participate in this info war).

    1. Re: Ping Five – From Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago (vol. 3). He quotes from a number of orthodox communist believers who still couldn’t see that anything was wrong even after Stalin’s mass murders had been exposed, and then he asks:

      “What retort can we make to them all, faced with their massive ignorance? How can we now make them understand?

      “Truth, it seems, is always bashful, easily reduced to silence by the too blatant encroachment of falsehood.

      “The prolonged absence of any free exchange of information within a country opens up a gulf of incomprehension between whole groups of the population, between millions and millions.

      “We simply cease to be a single people, for we speak, indeed, different languages.”

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