We were always at war with Eastasia. MSNBC, a seemingly neoconservative news outlet, is enraged that Congressional Republicans won’t accept—on blind faith—the intelligence community’s view that Russia was the source of the Podesta email hack.
MSNBC commentator Joy Reid was particularly incensed that any Republican would dare question the honor of Director of National Security James Clapper, a man who lied about the NSA committing the most massive Fourth Amendment violation in history. Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee today that Russia had engaged in an unprecedented level of interference in the U.S. presidential election, for whatever his opinion is worth (not much, I hope).
Sen. John McCain lashed out at Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has claimed that Russia was not the source of the leaked information about Hillary Clinton. McCain asked Clapper, “Do you think there’s any credibility we should attach to [Julian Assange], given his record?”
“Not in my view,” said Clapper.
Perhaps McCain should have asked Clapper if the director himself deserves any credibility, in the eyes of the American people, given his past misstatements about his office’s gross violation of their civil liberties.
But there was nary a mention of Clapper’s past dishonesty during Reid’s show on Thursday night. Filling in for the usual 8:00 p.m. anchor, Chris Hayes, Reid asked Republican Rep. Mo Brooks, a member of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees, whether he considered himself, “a Julian Assange Republican like Sean Hannity, or a John McCain Republican like DNI Clapper and others who say Russia was behind the hacking?”
Brooks replied that he thought a healthy degree of skepticism was warranted, particularly given how badly the intelligence community dropped the ball in the run up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Reid fired back, “You didn’t answer the question. Who do you believe?”
Later on the program, Reid mocked Republicans for not siding with anti-Russia hawks McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham—the sane foreign policy Republicans, in her view.
Sorry to belabor this point, but McCain and Graham are radical interventionist neoconservatives. Why is a supposedly liberal network carrying water for them? This is a telltale symptom of Trump derangement syndrome.
Chris Matthews, to his credit, was much more reasonable, and invited Sen. Rand Paul onto his show to discuss the hacking from a less partisan point of view. Paul said that he didn’t think the leaked information about Clinton mattered much in his home state of Kentucky. He also reminded viewers that Clapper misled the American people about whether the NSA was spying on them. (Paul has previously said that if Edward Snowden goes to jail, he should share a cell with Clapper.)
It seems like the libertarian-friendly Paul is offering one of the only principled, independent perspectives in politics these days. Everyone else asks whether a given development would help or undermine Trump, and then adjusts their opinions accordingly.
Meanwhile, intelligence officials are touting emails showing that Russian leaders were happy about Trump’s victory as evidence they were involved in the hack. This prove nothing, of course, except that Russian leaders were indeed happy about Trump winning the election—something everyone already knew.