From the VG Bookshelf: Witch Hunt
From the VG Bookshelf: Witch Hunt
Witch Hunt, by Gregg Jarrett, is the epic follow-up to his earlier bestseller, The Russian Hoax. Expertly sourced, persuasively argued, Jarrett peels back the layers of secrecy and obfuscation that has protected the upper levels of the federal bureaucracy and exposed, not just their malfeasance, but their active contempt for The People who they ostensibly serve.
This book is tautly written. Jarrett is the consummate researcher – Holy footnotes, Batman! – and as he pulls you from one event to another and slaps the facts on the table, you barely have time to process the revelation and he is dragging you off to the next. If the book suffers from anything, it is that it does not have an index. Oh, there are two very helpful appendixes – A is a list and description of the major characters and B is a timeline of events, the latter of which I found helpful. However, an index would make for easy reference to refer back to the body of the work.
That quibble aside, Jarrett organizes the book with very targeted chapters. Within each chapter he examines the subject matter in crisp and concise language. Which makes the revelations about those members of the Federal government, both with power and unaccountability to voters, frightening in the casual way they went about subverting the rule of law and trying to overturn the 2016 election.
On or about May 2, 2016, Comey composed a statement summarizing [Hillary] Clinton’s mishandling of classified documents, concluding that she had been “grossly negligent.” As noted earlier, those pivotal words have a distinct legal meaning because they are drawn directly from the Espionage Act. In describing Clinton’s actions, Comey used the exact phrase not once but three times (Exhibit C in the IG report). Under questioning, he readily admitted to Horowitz that he had authored the May 2 statement and penned every of word of it himself. Then he offered the implausible claim that “he did not recall that his original draft used the term ‘gross negligence,’ and did not recall discussions about that issue.
Metadata show that on June 6 , the FBI’s lead investigator on the case, Peter Strzok, deputy assistant direct of counterintelligence, sat down at his office computer to cleanse his boss’s statement of the vexing term “gross negligence.” With the assistance of his paramour and FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, the words “extremely careless” were substituted to make Clinton appear less criminally culpable.
This isn’t a book of grand conspiracies of men in trench coats and fedoras meeting under bridges. This a book that exposes the petty vindictiveness of career bureaucrats, stuffed with their own importance, who took the nomination of Trump as a personal affront and his election as an unforgivable outrage. It covers the unhinged hatred of those who took Clinton’s 2016 loss personally.
There was the rabidness of Obama CIA director John Brennan who, with James Clapper, concocted to leak the fraudulent Steele dossier to the press by having Comey inadequately brief Trump on it. This was after the January 5, 2017* meeting of Obama, Clapper, Susan Rice, Sally Yates and Joe Biden where they deliberated ways to keep Trump in the dark about the counterintelligence operation that was aimed straight at him.
Consider that the FISA judges were given incomplete or false information in order to sign off on warrants to spy on American citizens whose only “crime” was to be connect to Trump.
The weaponization of the intelligence community – shades of J. Edgar Hoover – that ramped up under Obama was turned in direction that bordered on farce: Almost all the “Russian agents” supposedly trying to pass ‘dirt on Clinton’ to Trump campaign workers turn out to be American intelligence community assets.
And when these moves didn’t pan out. When, at every turn, no evidence of a Russian collusion failed to turn up, these alleged public servants weren’t relieved that an American President really wasn’t Putin’s Puppet. They were pissed off.
Mueller knew in 2017 there was no evidence of collusion, but dragged it out for another 15 months, giving his team of rogues the power to harass, threaten, badger and sometimes prosecute for “process crimes” people even tangentially involved in the Trump campaign.
The media comes off in this book as venal, corrupt and operating from over-inflated opinions of themselves. They eagerly run with every rumor, gossip, leak fed to them or made up. Whether it was the leaks from the Steel dossier or two years of Adam Schiff loudly braying he had seen the overwhelming evidence of the Russian Collusion (the same thing he’s peddling about Ukraine) – not once did these leftwing sycophants with bylines ever question the narrative.
I’m old enough to remember all the glorification of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein for using the anonymous source Deep Throat in exposing the Watergate break-in and forcing the resignation of Richard Nixon. Woodward & Bernstein cultivated the impression that Deep Throat was some great patriot, a moral hero for his role. And yet, some 30 years later, we find out that Mark Felt of the FBI by-passed his chain of command as a petty little man who carried a grudge because he had been passed over for a promotion. Such is the fable of journalists as Very Special People.
I highly recommend this book. Not just for the structure and clarification Jarrett gives to the recent history, but because of the dangerous assumptions we carry about the Federal government. I have no doubt that the majority of the rank-and-file agents and employees of the intelligence community are honest, dedicated and hard working. But the supervisors, managers, directors? Those doing illegal spying on American citizens? Why have they remained silent while this scandal to take down a duly elected President has been happening right there in front of them? This disturbs me because I want to trust my government.
But the Deep State no longer cares if you know about them. They want you to see the no-knock raids in the pre-dawn darkness, the perp walks on national tv, the solitary confinement that breaks people.
It’s a warning, people. Trump is the symbol, but it is you they are after.
*correction, earlier published date of July 5 was in error
featured image composite by VG Darleen Click