Open thread for night owls. James Risen: ‘Is Donald Trump a Traitor?’

Open thread for night owls. James Risen: ‘Is Donald Trump a Traitor?’

Coincidentally, I had been (finally) reading James Risen’s 2014 book, Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War, when I caught a bit of the “Kagro in the Morning” radio show today in which there was a lengthy discussion about something Risen had written before Friday’s indictments of 13 Russian nationals were announced. The piece, updated after the indictments, is at The Intercept and titled Is Donald Trump a Traitor?

One year after Trump took office, it is still unclear whether the president of the United States is an agent of a foreign power. Just step back and think about that for a moment.

His 2016 campaign is the subject of an ongoing federal inquiry that could determine whether Trump or people around him worked with Moscow to take control of the U.S. government. Americans must now live with the uncertainty of not knowing whether the president has the best interests of the United States or those of the Russian Federation at heart.

Most pundits in Washington now recoil at any suggestion that the Trump-Russia story is really about treason. They all want to say it’s about something else – what, they aren’t quite sure. They are afraid to use serious words. They are in the business of breaking down the Trump-Russia narrative into a long series of bite-sized, incremental stories in which the gravity of the overall case often gets lost. They seem to think that treason is too much of a conversation-stopper, that it interrupts the flow of cable television and Twitter. God forbid you might upset the right wing! (And the left wing, for that matter.)

But if a presidential candidate or his lieutenants secretly work with a foreign government that is a longtime adversary of the United States to manipulate and then win a presidential election, that is almost a textbook definition of treason. […]

To anyone who has studied the history of the KGB, particularly during the Cold War, the attack on the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party during the 2016 U.S. election looks like the contemporary cyber-descendant of countless analog KGB propaganda efforts. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, the KGB frequently engaged in ambitious disinformation campaigns that were designed to sow suspicion of the United States in the developing world. The KGB’s so-called “active measures” programs would use international front organizations, cutouts, and sometimes unwitting enablers in the press to disseminate their anti-American propaganda.

The most infamous and dangerously effective KGB disinformation campaign of the Cold War was known as Operation Infektion. It was a secret effort to convince people in developing countries that the United States had created the HIV/AIDS virus. […]

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QUOTATION

“Treason is very much a matter of habit, Smiley decided.” 
 ~John le Carre, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974)

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If the 2nd Amendment was designed to prevent tyranny, it failed us just like the Electoral College.

— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) February 16, 2018

BLAST FROM THE PAST

On this date at Daily Kos in 2006—Cheney drank before shooting his pal:

In an exclusive interview with Fox News’ Brit Hume this afternoon, Vice President Dick Cheney took full responsibility for shooting his hunting companion, who has until now been pictured as the guilty party. The interview will not aired in full until 6 p.m. but according to Hume, in summarizing the contents, the vice president remained “totally unapologetic” about the long lag in reporting the shooting to the public—and also said that he had consumed one beer at lunch that day.

Cheney must consume a virtual cocktail of drugs every day because of his heart condition. I wonder what kind of reaction throwing alcohol into the mix might have.

Any doctors in the house?

Update: Here’s video of Hume talking about his interview with Cheney. You see, according to Cheney, they drank beer but no one drank beer:

HUME: He said he had a beer at lunch and that had been many hours earlier. And it was dusk, around 5:00 p.m., when this incident happened. And he said that, you know, they had lunch out in the field, a barbecue, and he had a beer. But you said you don’t hunt with people who have been drinking. He said no one was drinking. He said they went back to the ranch afterwards, took a break after that, and went out about 3:00 and so you’re four or five hours distanced from the last alcohol that he consumed. And he said no one was drinking, not he nor anyone else.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: If you can find another podcast that did an hour and a half on James Risen’s “Is Donald Trump a Traitor?” piece before today’s indictments came down, then go ahead & donate to it. If not, the links you need to keep this vital programming on the air are below.

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