(ANTIMEDIA) “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you. So, even for a practical, supposedly, hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this,” Democratic lawmaker Charles Schumer said of President Trump in January amid the president’s rejection of CIA claims about Russian hacking.
According to journalist Glenn Greenwald and former lawmaker Dennis Kucinich, it appears Schumer was correct.
This week, Trump adviser Michael Flynn left the administration after leaks from the intelligence community revealed he had misled the public and the administration on conversations he had with a Russian diplomat. The Washington Post and New York Times both reported on the alleged transgressions.
Though Greenwald has argued the leaks were “wholly justified” in spite of the fact they violated criminal law, he also questioned the motives behind them.
“It’s very possible — I’d say likely — that the motive here was vindictive rather than noble,” he wrote. “Whatever else is true, this is a case where the intelligence community, through strategic (and illegal) leaks, destroyed one of its primary adversaries in the Trump White House.”
Greenwald asserted in an interview with Democracy Now, published on Thursday, that this boils down to a fight between the Deep State and the Trump administration.
According to an in-depth report by journalist Mike Lofgren:
“The Deep State does not consist of the entire government. It is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department. I also include the Department of the Treasury because of its jurisdiction over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions and its organic symbiosis with Wall Street.”
As Greenwald explained during his interview:
“It’s agencies like the CIA, the NSA and the other intelligence agencies, that are essentially designed to disseminate disinformation and deceit and propaganda, and have a long history of doing not only that, but also have a long history of the world’s worst war crimes, atrocities and death squads.”
Notorious neoconservative and member of the now-defunct Project for New American Century, Bill Kristol — who supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election — acknowledged the growing divide between the Deep State and the president, making it clear which side he fell on:
Obviously strongly prefer normal democratic and constitutional politics. But if it comes to it, prefer the deep state to the Trump state.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) February 14, 2017
Greenwald believes this division is a result of the Deep State’s disapproval of Trump’s foreign policy and the fact that the intelligence community overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton over Trump because of her hawkish views. Greenwald noted that Mike Morell, acting CIA chief under Obama, and Michael Hayden, who ran both the CIA and NSA under George W. Bush, openly spoke out against Trump during the presidential campaign.
Greenwald asserts the the CIA preferred Clinton because, like the clandestine agency, she supported regime change in Syria. In contrast, Trump dismissed America’s practice of nation-building and declined to tow the line on ousting foreign leaders, instead advocating working with Russia to defeat ISIS and other extremist groups.
“So, Trump’s agenda that he ran on was completely antithetical to what the CIA wanted,” Greenwald argued. “Clinton’s was exactly what the CIA wanted, and so they were behind her. And so, they’ve been trying to undermine Trump for many months throughout the election. And now that he won, they are not just undermining him with leaks, but actively subverting him.”
As former congressman Dennis Kucinich noted in a recent interview with Fox News, the Deep State’s retaliations are not limited to Trump:
“[In] the closing months of the Obama administration, they put together a deal with Russia to create peace in Syria. A few days later, a military strike in Syria killed a hundred Syrian soldiers and that ended the agreement. What happened is inside the intelligence and the Pentagon there was a deliberate effort to sabotage an agreement the White House made.”
Greenwald, who opposes Trump for a variety of reasons, warns that siding with the evidently powerful Deep State in the hopes of undermining Trump is dangerous. “Trump was democratically elected and is subject to democratic controls, as these courts just demonstrated and as the media is showing, as citizens are proving,” he said, likely alluding to a recent court ruling that nullified Trump’s travel ban.
“But on the other hand, the CIA was elected by nobody. They’re barely subject to democratic controls at all. And so, to urge that the CIA and the intelligence community empower itself to undermine the elected branches of government is insanity.”
He argues that mentality is “a prescription for destroying democracy overnight in the name of saving it,” highlighting that members of both prevailing political parties are praising the Deep State’s audacity in leaking details of Flynn’s conversations.
As he wrote in his article, “…it’s hard to put into words how strange it is to watch the very same people — from both parties, across the ideological spectrum — who called for the heads of Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Tom Drake, and so many other Obama-era leakers today heap praise on those who leaked the highly sensitive, classified SIGINT information that brought down Gen. Flynn.”
He also points out the left’s hypocrisy in condemning Flynn for lying when James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence during the Obama administration, perpetuated lies without ever being held accountable.
As traditional narratives continue to blur in the age of Trump, Kucinich summarized the current developments and resulting confusion:
“What’s going on in the intelligence community with this president is unprecedented,” he said. “They’re making every effort to upend him. Who knows what the truth is anymore?“
Regardless, the Trump administration is reportedly considering sending thousands of ground troops into Syria, meaning the Deep State could still find an ally in the president its members are currently working to undermine.