Protecting the ‘Whistleblower’ & Other Preposterous Pranks

James Howard Kunstler marvels at Adam Schiff’s tactical idiocy and savors the bit of media agitprop about James Comey in Saturday’s New York Times. 

By James Howard Kunstler
Clusterfuck Nation

James Howard KunstlerAn eerie silence cloaked the political landscape this lovely fall weekend as the soldiers in this (so far) administrative civil war scrambled for position in the next round of skirmishes. Rep. Adam Schiff fell back on the preposterous idea that he might not produce his “whistleblower” witness at all in the (so far) hypothetical impeachment proceeding. He put that one out after running a similarly absurd idea up the flagpole: that his “whistleblower” might just testify by answering written questions. I was waiting for him to offer up testimony by Morse code, carrier pigeon or smoke signals.

Of course, the effort to “protect” the “whistleblower” has been a juke all along. For one thing, he-she-it is not a “whistleblower” at all; was only labeled that via legalistic legerdemain to avoid revealing the origin of this affair as a CIA cover-your-ass operation. Did Schiff actually think he could conceal this figure’s identity in a Senate impeachment trial, when it came to that — for what else is impeachment aimed at? Anonymous sources are not admissible under American due process of law. Schiff must have missed that class in law school.

All of this hocus-pocus suggests to me that there is no “whistleblower,” that it is a phantom confabulation of gossip threads that unraveled the moment Trump released the transcript of his phone call to Ukraine’s President  Volodymyr Zelensky, aborting Schiff’s game plan. The ensuing weeks of congressional Keystone Kops buffoonery since then appears to conceal a futile effort by Schiff and his confederates to find some fall guy willing to pretend that he-she-it is the “whistleblower.” He might as well ask for a volunteer to gargle with Gillette Blue Blades on NBC’s Meet the Press.

The Keystone Cops in a typical pose in 1914 in “In the Clutches of the Gang.” (Mack Sennett Studios, Wikimedia Commons)

One marvels at Schiff’s tactical idiocy. But just imagine the panicked consternation it must be triggering among his Democratic colleagues. Notice that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been hiding out during this latest phase of the action. She may sense that there is nothing left to do but allow Schiff to twist slowly, slowly in the wind, as he has hung himself out to dry. She should have known better since every previous declaration of conclusive evidence by Schiff over the past three years has proved to be false, knowingly and mendaciously so.

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One also clearly senses that all the smoke-and-mirrors are a desperate attempt to divert attention from a soon-to-drop DOJ Inspector General’s report which, by the way, will only be an overture to much more damaging action likely to come from Attorney General William Barr’s proceeding. After all, Michael Horowitz, inspector general of theDepartment of Justice, was not allowed under the rules to compel the testimony of persons outside the Department of Justice, which would now include Andrew McCabe, James Comey and many others at the center of the RussiaGate prank.

That also includes the probable chief pranksters, former CIA head John Brennan and James Clapper, former director of National Intelligence, the midwives of RussiaGate. The pair have been running around on cable news with both their hair and their pants on fire in recent weeks. Back in March, before the Mueller report flopped, and when Barr was commissioned to look into all the RussiaGate shenanigans, Brennan comically claimed that he “received bad information and suspected there was more than there actually was.”

That lame admission will not avail to protect him or the CIA, an agency that is behind the administrative civil war. It has been a rogue agency for a long long time, but may have finally overplayed its hand, along with the newer adjunct agencies that have been stitched onto it since 9/11/01 — the dark network that goes by the name Intelligence Community. So many shoes are ready to drop on them that the din might drown out all the John Philip Sousa marches ever played in the lobby at Langley, let alone the thin trilling of a fake whistleblower.

Apart from these fateful developments the prize for the week’s most transparently disingenuous bit of media agitprop goes to Saturday’s New York Times puff piece on former FBI Director Jim Comey, which actually sets him up for federal indictment on something like sedition or treason. Get a load of this:

The Times’ caption on this photo states: “James Comey plans to spend the next 13 months working to drive President Trump from power.” Oh, really? By what means, exactly? Single-handedly or with whom? And how did the strategy he kicked off in 2016 work out? In case Barr is looking for some way to attribute motive to the actions that he’s investigating, he may need to seek no further. Also, consider that The New York Times and its Editor-in-Chief Dean Baquet, and publisher A.G. Sulzberger may be named as unindicted co-conspirators in the three-year campaign of sedition (freedom of the press, of course). Alert the shareholders.

BIO: James Howard Kunstler is author of “The Geography of Nowhere,” which he says he wrote “Because I believe a lot of people share my feelings about the tragic landscape of highway strips, parking lots, housing tracts, mega-malls, junked cities, and ravaged countryside that makes up the everyday environment where most Americans live and work.” He has written several other works of nonfiction and fiction. Read more about him here.

This article first appeared on his blog, ClusterfuckNation. 

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29 comments for “Protecting the ‘Whistleblower’ & Other Preposterous Pranks

  1. Eugenie Basile
    October 18, 2019 at 04:23

    After CN excellent interview last week, this week Katherine Gun appeared on BBC Hardtalk. She ridiculed BBC’s golden boy ‘journalist’ S. Sackur responding to all his suggestive and biased questions, by repeatedly pointing to the essence of the illegality of the Irak war and the criminal behavior of the British intelligence services. She is so morally superior and intellectually more honest than most of us and certainly than all those BBC ‘journalists’ .
    I guess that disqualifies her for a Nobel prize..

  2. Abby
    October 16, 2019 at 23:27

    I have been calling him a gossipblower because that is basically what he did. People in the WH apparently just told him what they thought about the phone call and he put it into a report. That people think that there is any there there as Lisa Page once said just proves how well propaganda works. Oh as Goebbels once said, “tell a lie enough times and people will believe it”. That so many people got suckered into buying Russia Gate is just beyond my comprehension. Especially when the information was coming from the intelligence agencies that have lied to us about so many things.

    Kurt Volker the Ukraine ambassador kept telling Schiff that he saw no evidence of Trump leaning on the Ukraine president, but Schiff wouldn’t believe him. Schiff kept insisting that it happened and Volker kept saying no it did not. Then there’s Schiff lying in front of congress and reading those lies into the congressional record.

    I hope Barr gets to take the investigation all the way to the top so people can see what role Obama played in creating Russia Gate. This was an attempt to remove a president before he even got elected. A failed coup or sedition works for me.

    And thanks everyone here on consortium news for your outstanding writing on Russia Gate starting with the late great Robert Parry!

  3. Noah Way
    October 16, 2019 at 19:03

    More anonymous “intelligence officials citing secret documents”. If the CIA is attached to it in any way, shape or form it is most certainly a lie.

    Should we list a few CIA lies?

    WMD’s in Iraq
    Dozens of coups from Italy in 1948 to Ukraine in 2013
    Iran Contra – selling drugs to US citizens to finance arms sales
    Operation Phoenix – assassination program
    Operation Chaos – subverting anti-war and civil rights groups
    Operation Ajax – The Iranian coup that resulted in a secular state
    Operation Northwoods – a plan to bomb Miami and blame Cuba
    The Church Committee – revealing media on CIA payroll 40 years ago
    (but it’s OK because they promised to stop)
    The Gulf of Tonkin “incident”
    The Bay of Pigs
    Black prisons to offshore torture (making is “legal”)
    The Cuban Missile Crisis
    MKUltra mind control program and the use of drugs on the public

    • Procopius
      October 18, 2019 at 00:12

      Minor quibble: Gulf of Tonkin “incident.” I’m not sure that can be attributed to the CIA. Yes, the North Vietnamese action, if any, was in response to the CIA running South Vietnamese agents into their country under the guns of a U.S. Navy destroyer. Yes, the sailors were fearful that the North Vietnamese might attack them because of that, so you can say that their report was motivated by CIA actions, and was probably mistaken (false, but not an intentional lie). Even President Johnson recognized it at the time, but he was afraid the Republican Right “… they’ll say I’m not a manly man.”

  4. Spinky
    October 16, 2019 at 15:46

    Laughed so hard, loved it!!! Thanks for the great news site!

  5. October 16, 2019 at 13:36

    Cool short story. Good comments. I was hoping for a great ending, where Trump joins his Cohen.

  6. Rob
    October 16, 2019 at 13:30

    Whether there is a genuine whistleblower or it’s all an elaborate charade by security state malefactors, it does appear that Trump sought to enlist the aid of a foreign government in digging up dirt on a potential political opponent. We know this from the “transcript” of the phone call with Zelensky and may eventually get more from the actual recording of the conversation, which has been placed on super-duper, extra-special top secret status (and may already been lost or erased. Where is Rosemary Woods when you need her)?

    More importantly, Trump has unquestionably committed numerous other offenses that are worthy of impeachment and removal from office–self dealing, campaign finance violations, caging of children, evading Congressional oversight that is mandated in the Constitution etc. The Deep State is extremely dangerous, but so is Trump. A pox on all their heads, and that includes Schiff, Maddow and the other Russiagate jerks.

    • Abby
      October 16, 2019 at 23:32

      Actually he did not do that. The Ukraine president did not know that Trump had stopped the weapons when he spoke with Trump about the issues. And Trump wasn’t asking him to investigate ByeDone or his son. As the article states he was looking into the origins of Russia Gate. The NY Times had written about how Hillary’s campaign asked people in Ukraine to dig up dirt on Manafort and others in Trump’s campaign. The FBI was working in Ukraine helping her to do that.

    • john
      October 17, 2019 at 10:29

      The irony that the “dirt” was about Biden using the same pressure Trump did to cover up dirt on his own family, by all appearances.

      What does it say about the DNC that they could not make moves to impeach over Genocide in Yemen, but they freak out over looking into Biden’s blatant corruption (including the War Crime of instigating a coup spearheaded by Nazis)?

      Is this DESIGNED to show that they are petty amoral psychopaths whose only concern is their own nepotistic gravy train?

    • Tammy Davis
      October 17, 2019 at 14:32

      Thank you. My thoughts exactly. Schiff and this supposed whistleblower is null and void. Trump admitted asking for a “favor” from Ukraine. Trump dug his own grave. Along with caging children and being a racist prick.

    • Procopius
      October 18, 2019 at 00:17

      You can read minds? You know what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The transcript shows that Trump requested “an investigation,” both into Hunter Biden and the question of whether CrowdStrike had moved the original DNC server to Ukraine. Some people who are motivated to presume guilt now say he was pressuring the Ukraine to fabricate evidence. I’m waiting for them to prove it. Just as I’m still waiting for them to prove any of the Russiagate allegations. I still see people claiming the evidence is well known to “everybody,” but they can’t show it to me.

  7. October 16, 2019 at 13:03

    Cool short story. Good comments. But i was hoping for a Great ending where Trump joins his Cohn in hell.

  8. October 16, 2019 at 11:12

    Rest assured Mr. Kuntzler, no one of any importance is going anywhere near a prison. If anyone is charged and convicted Jeffrey Epstein`s sentence will be the model used to punish the perp. You knowhow it goes. ” Justice American style. ” Get caught with an ounce of marijuana, while black and bingo 20 or 25 years in a super max. Destroy the economy of the country and the world, or swear to lie after lie before government committees , what the hell, no problem there. Too big to charge and try in a court of law.

  9. jdd
    October 16, 2019 at 08:04

    Let’s be clear. The so-called “deep state” is a misnomer for the pro-Empire faction of the intelligence community controlled by the City of London and Wall Street.

  10. Herschel
    October 16, 2019 at 04:30

    Once you understand that politics is a dirty game played by the very rich and their stooges, there isn’t much more you need to know, but when JHK lashes his rhetoric on their bumblings, it can be fun to watch, better than a dogfight.

  11. Drew Hunkins
    October 15, 2019 at 17:42

    “…every previous declaration of conclusive evidence by Schiff over the past three years has proved to be false”

    But this doesn’t matter at all, at all! MSNBC, CNN, the Times, WaPo, and NPR will treat every declaration with respectable credulity. Never forget, we still have millions of Americans believing the Kremlin interfered in the ’16 prez election. It’s the biggest brainwashing job I’ve ever witnessed in my now few decades of following and analyzing the politico-economic scene.

    Try explaining to your Maddow and DNC brainwashed friends, colleagues and family members that what we’ve been watching unfold over the last two years is a soft coup orchestrated by militarists and intel spooks and you’ll be promptly shouted down or mocked and ridiculed.

    • AnneR
      October 16, 2019 at 09:38

      Right on, Drew H. None of the truth, no matter how succinctly, cogently and openly revealed will either budge the MSM – until, perhaps, twenty years down the road when none of us cares any longer – or persuade the deeply indoctrinated, especially bourgeois, Demrat supporters steeped to the gills as they are in TDS apoplexy over the Shill’s loss (as if they were ignorant of the existence of the Electoral College and its deliberately conceived and constructed blocking mechanism against mass electoral gain).

      • Drew Hunkins
        October 16, 2019 at 12:42

        “… until, perhaps, twenty years down the road when none of us cares any longer ”

        Exactly. Spot-on AnneR!

    • Chet Roman
      October 16, 2019 at 11:17

      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” -Upton Sinclaire

      • Drew Hunkins
        October 16, 2019 at 12:43

        Always loved that quote Chet.

    • lorraine jackson
      October 17, 2019 at 02:17

      .I can certainly relate to everything you have written. I have been banned from discussing anything in the political realm
      by my friends and family because I also attempted to explain how this ‘soft coup’ developed with the media complicit and all the propaganda being pushed on American citizens. Nobody could believe that NPR had any bias! I tried to steer them towards
      some of my favorite citizen journalists to no avail. I have never witnessed such intolerance for other perspectives. So I ended up being told that I am the one who is brainwashed…… !It’s funny how folks who profess to be ‘open-minded’ refuse to step out
      of their comfort zone of belief…..

    • Skip Scott
      October 17, 2019 at 10:03


      The propaganda the average person is steeped in is so pervasive it is like a fish saying “what water?”. NPR is probably the worst because they maintain an air of “respectability”. They have classical music and jazz to go with their state approved propaganda narrative. The latte sippers, with their NPR and their NYT, think they are above being “played”. They are lazy consumers rather than critical thinkers. They think whether they have non gender specific restrooms in their Starbucks is an important issue for our times, far more important than the fate of those “others” getting droned in third world countries. It is nauseating. They are insulated, spoiled children.

    • Drew Hunkins
      October 17, 2019 at 11:07

      @ Loraine & Scott,

      Fantastic commentary!

    • October 17, 2019 at 16:10

      I send them this: Ray McGovern’s article here on CN on July 22, 2019 about the “non-hack.”

  12. Stan W.
    October 15, 2019 at 17:42

    Excellent and fascinating article! An acid test for the supposed “whistleblower” would be whether he (or she) would be eligible for protection by the U.S Office of Special Counsel, which is charged with whistleblower protection. As for James Comey, I believe he’s beginning to hear footsteps.

  13. October 15, 2019 at 15:07

    The Democrats have clearly learned nothing from the debacle of the 2016 election, as they foolishly stumble their way through trying to protect the political career of yet another idiotic, out of touch, criminally corrupt far right candidate upon whom they have pinned their hopes for remaining the go-to party of Wall Street and Cold Warmongers.

    As in 2016, 2020 will see Caligula Drumpf win the office of the presidency in an unearned victory over a dying “opposition” party that long ago ceased to be any real opposition and instead threw its lot in with the farthest of the far right. And, as in 2016, it’s the rest of humanity that pays the price.

  14. Jeff Harrison
    October 15, 2019 at 15:00

    Interesting. I still find it hard to believe that the guys from the deep state are going to get nailed for the attempted coup.

    • Seamus Padraig
      October 16, 2019 at 00:49

      One can always hope!

    • ML
      October 16, 2019 at 09:34

      Yes, I’ll believe it when it happens. If only….

Comments are closed.