Streetwise Professor

October 30, 2019

Adam Schiff’s Reruns

Filed under: Politics — cpirrong @ 10:38 am

In early-May, 1863, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest brought to bay a Union raiding force led by Colonel Abel Streight. Streight’s men, though exhausted by their rapid march across Alabama with Forrest snapping at their heels, substantially outnumbered Forrest’s. Forrest met with Streight to parlay, and in order to gull the Yankee into capitulating (despite his numerical superiority), the rebel resorted to a ruse. One section (two guns) of Forrest’s artillery had kept up, and prior to meeting Streight, Forrest ordered the gunners to drive their guns up a road in Streight’s line of sight, turn into the woods and disappear from view, and then circle their pieces around a hill and drive them up the road again.

Streight watched the trundling artillery with growing alarm: “My God sir, how many guns do you have? I’ve counted twelve pieces already.” Forrest: “I reckon that’s all that’s kept up.” Streight surrendered forthwith.

When Forrest’s small number of men emerged from cover to take the surrender, Streight learned that he had been fooled, and demanded his weapons be returned. Forrest replied: “Aw, hell, colonel. All is fair in love and war.”

This story came to mind when reading accounts of LTC Alexander Vindman’s testimony before Adam Schiff’s Darkness at Noon impeachment inquiry. Like other witnesses before him, Vindman repeated the same story: Trump brought up Biden in a phone call, and his hair spontaneously combusted as a result.

In other words, just circling the same gun around the same hill and making it seem like some additional bombshell-hurling revelation.

Vindman is obviously one of the sources in the “whistleblower’s” complaint, so what he said before Schiff’s committee represents no new information, other than perhaps that the “whistleblower” didn’t make up everything.

How do we know Vindman is a source? First, he had the opportunity: he listened on the Trump-Zelensky call. Second, he had motive: Ukrainian born, he vehemently disagreed with Trump’s (temporary) delaying of military aid. Third, Schiff said he corroborates what the whistleblower said. Fourth, and most importantly, Schiff refused to allow committee Republicans to ask whom Vindman had spoken to, certainly because that would help identify the “whistleblower.”

So why expose Vindman, while keeping the “whistleblower” under wraps? Almost certainly because the latter has some serious issues (truthfulness, partisan connections and motives, etc.). And perhaps most importantly, because Schiff is covering his own ass. He collaborated with the “whistleblower” before the filing of the formal complaint, directed the “whistleblower” to attorneys that helped him write it, and then lied about his role.

Further, given his monitoring of the call, and his affinity for the Ukrainians, the White House has no doubt fingered him as one of the “whistleblower’s” sources. Already being burned, Schiff used him to regurgitate the narrative.

As to Vindman’s ipse dixits regarding the appropriateness of Trump’s interaction with Zelensky, to say that such judgments are above the O-5 pay grade is an understatement. Besides, the world has already seen the transcript, and can draw its own conclusions: the alleged flaws in the transcript that Vindman identified are immaterial, and hence are irrelevant to such conclusions.

Today’s witnesses include an aide to defenestrated National Security Advisor John Bolton, who will testify that Bolton was disturbed by the influence of Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine policy. John Bolton in a turf war! This surprised no one, ever.

Other witnesses include two “State Department Ukraine experts,” who, according to the emetic Lawfare blog (AKA, The Mouthpiece for the Deep State, AKA a polyp on Jim Comey’s colon):

Two State Department foreign service officers, Catherine M. Croft and Christopher J. Anderson, will appear before the House impeachment inquiry on Wednesday. They will report that President Trump held a pessimistic view of Ukraine that did not match their own assessments. 

How dare the President of the United States disagree with the mandarinate? That’s obviously impeachable!

But that’s what this is really all about. That’s what it has been about from the beginning. Trump is an anathema to the GS nomenklatura, who have been waging a war against him from before his nomination. Hell, since before his election.

In other words, this is about criminalizing policy differences.

All of Adam Schiff’s ruses and reruns can’t conceal that fact. Indeed, the ruses confirm the fact.

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1 Comment »

  1. Vindman is obviously one of the sources in the “whistleblower’s” complaint, so what he said before Schiff’s committee represents no new information, other than perhaps that the “whistleblower” didn’t make up everything.


    But since the Republicans de seem to be willing to contend that the whistleblower did make it up out of whole cloth, it is fair to produce evidence contrary to that.

    Comment by Christopher Faille — November 4, 2019 @ 9:15 am

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