Department of Justice has finally received special prosecutor Robert Mueller's long-awaited report. Media Sturm und Drang sensationalism to the contrary, Mueller found no evidence (zip, zero, nada) that President Donald Trump, his erstwhile campaign staff or his relatives "colluded" with Vladimir Putin's Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election and insidiously deny Hillary Clinton the White House.
Hence this important question: Did the two years of Mueller's excruciating investigation and accompanying sensationalist media rant accusing Trump of a crime he didn't commit deleteriously affect American national security? More on that in a moment.
Note quotation marks around "colluded" in paragraph one. Collusion isn't a crime — even though the mainstream media made it a nom de guerre. Conspiring or coordinating with a foreign power constitutes a crime, one serious enough to call treason. Conspiracy and coordination were the terms Mueller employed. His bottom line: no evidence Trump committed a heinous, anti-American crime.
Yet on July 13, 2017 then-House Minority Leader — now Speaker — Nancy Pelosi claimed "this week we saw cold hard evidence" that the Trump family colluded with Russia to assault American democracy." Replay the video. Treason against America was her implied but carefully unspoken damnation.
Ah, but this month — days before Mueller informed DOJ that Trump did not commit a crime — Pelosi whimpered that Trump's "just not worth" impeaching.
That's more than a retreat. In retrospect, Pelosi's outlandish 2017 rhetoric promoted a corrosive falsehood so beyond partisan political sparring it became odious narrative warfare damaging U.S. political integrity and institutional stability.
Hard evidence exists that a serious national security crime was committed during the election and early 2017. Trump and his campaign were spied upon, not by foreign adversaries but by America's security agencies. Moreover, criminals in these agencies colluded with media compadres to mislead the American people.
The security agency corruption and media collusion produced a cold, hard totalitarian horror committed in and against America, the world's paramount democracy.
Here are some of the Obama administration narrative warfare extremists who waged war on America: Former FBI Director James Comey, his deputy Andrew McCabe, former CIA kingpin John Brennan, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
These corrupt men corrupted their institutions and damaged U.S. security.
As for media collusion, Brennan went to work for CNN. May CNN forever double bubble toil and trouble in its odious lies.
Damage noted, thanks to Trump's ability to focus, at the operational level I don't think American national security has suffered much. World leaders, whether friendly or adversarial, see Trump as an American president willing to act and use America's vast powers with savvy. The April 2017 missile attacks on Syrian airfields, following an Assad regime chemical weapons attack, sent a message. Barack Obama wouldn't enforce his own "red lines" curbing bad guy behavior. Trump would.
Trump emphasizes U.S. physical and economic security. He is anything but anti-ally. The Muller investigation obscured his record for improving allied cooperation. In January 2019, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told Fox News that NATO is stronger than ever. "What he's (Trump) doing is to help us adapt the alliance, which we need," Stoltenberg said. EU members recently announced they will do more to deter Chinese territorial expansion.
China always looks for weakness. But Beijing knows Trump understands economic warfare, so it negotiates.
Every informed mind knew North Korea would wriggle and stall. At February's Hanoi summit, with Mueller's report a few weeks away, dictator Kim Jong Un demanded a better deal. Trump walked. On March 22, before Mueller's report, North Korea vacated its liaison office in South Korea. However, on March 25, Pyongyang returned. Coincidence?
Other elements of the institutional criminality related to the 2016 election have damaged U.S. security. The failure to punish Hillary Clinton for her premeditated and criminal mishandling of classified information undermines societal respect for law. More on that in a future column.
To find out more about Austin Bay and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com. His latest book, "Cocktails from Hell: Five Wars Shaping the 21st Century" (Bombardier Books), is available now.