I find it both astounding and depressing that within a fifteen-year period, liberals have sunk to Bush era tactics when it comes to questioning American Intelligence Agencies. If you’ve been on social media lately, you may have noticed various articles, memes and tweets that bring into question a person’s patriotism for questioning the Intel Report on Russian hacking.

Now I personally believe Russia probably did try and interfere with the 2016 election. Both the United States and Russia have been interfering with foreign elections for decades. Furthermore, it was no secret that Clinton, like Obama, would have been a lot more hostile to Vladimir Putin than Trump for various reasons.

Trump and Putin have a lot in common. They are both considered strong men. Putin Demonized the LGBT community to shore up his base just as Trump used immigrants and Muslims. They are both alleged billionaires and both have a shared interest in expanding their country’s fossil fuel industry. They will become very close allies during Trump’s time in office.

Nevertheless, despite all the suggestions that Russia hacked into the DNC’s emails, they are still just assertions. They were assertions before the release of the Intel report, they are still assertions after. There is no actual evidence. An assertion is not proof of anything, it is just a belief.

The establishment media however doesn’t seem to care. From day one, they have cared more about the hack itself than the damning content it revealed. And that is where some of my fellow liberals and progressives have gotten lost. Months after the election, The DNC and the media are still looking to scapegoat Russia to cover up their own failures.

The DNC, Clintonites and other neo-liberals who are taking out their frustration on their own people, calling them unamerican or unpatriotic is utter nonsense. As progressives, we know blind faith in our government institutions can be dangerous and even get us killed. It has happened before.

American Intelligence Agencies have lied to us repeatedly in the past, so why are we so eager to believe them now? Because we want to believe it. Back in 2002 and 2003, progressives, liberals and moderates were right in questioning American Intel on Iraqi WMDs, it didn’t make us any less American like Bush and Cheney asserted. If anything, it made us better citizens.

Remember when the Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper told Congress in 2013 that the government does not “wittingly” collect information about millions of Americans? Edward Snowden proved that to be a huge lie just a few weeks later. Conservatives (and some liberals), called Snowden unpatriotic and a traitor, some even called for his execution. Nobody really talked about Clapper’s lie.

Now here we are in 2017 with the most unpopular president elect in modern history and the situation seems to have been reversed. The patriotism of conservatives (and progressives) are now being questioned for not falling in line with the establishment’s fact free assertions.

Back at the Democratic National Convention last year, Michelle Obama famously said “When someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.”

Has Trump made us forget already?

4 COMMENTS

  1. Thoughtful piece. I need to do some digesting but here’s the thing: I feel we can all agree that certain types of conduct just doesn’t fit with our principles of privacy and limited government. The challenge of the new age is this: it is now possible to get access to information about individuals that would otherwise be private and release that information willy-nilly. It is less a matter than whether this should be done but whether if it has been done, does the information qualify as the “fruit of a poisonous tree”. In criminal law this means that information gathered as a result of illegal police activity cannot be used in the prosecution of a criminal case with certain exceptions. Journalism needs to consider whether it should have similar ground rules. And will this involve questioning intelligence agencies? Yes.

  2. No, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with questioning our Intelligence; it’s just that one shouldn’t appear negative toward those agencies until ‘after’ you’ve read their report. And in light of confidence building around the world and within our nation, it’s not wise to attempt to degrade our intelligence agencies even before being briefed. This sends a strong message from a soon to be president: that our country may have a weak intelligence system; or, that the person who is acting suspicious is actually someone who fears the information that the intelligence is suggesting. If someone in a soon to be leadership role is not satisfied with the information, even after the briefing, then he might quietly ask for further investigation or explanation as the the meaning of the information found, but challenge the multiple agencies in private to learn more. In this case, the information appeared to be almost certain, with many officials sticking their own necks out to accept it. So, not only did our soon-to-be president not accept the word of the 17 intelligence agencies; he didn’t accept many of our national leaders’ judgement. And now, after he’s been briefed, he still hasn’t shown confidence in our U.S. Intelligence. The bigger problem is that personal ‘ego’ has come in the way of what ought to be ‘respect’ for our national intelligence.

    • This article is not about Trump. The whole world doesn’t revolve around him. It’s about normal, rational people bullying others into believing national intelligence without any evidence. The information only seems “almost certain” to you because you choose to have faith in the institution that has continuously lied to the public. Nothing wrong with that, but many people don’t and for good reason, but that doesn’t make them un-American…

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