In its deployed interview two former head of US intelligence in assessed Russia’s intervention in the presidential elections in 2016 and its consequences. If you compare their statements, there are some important questions about the differences and the controversy that is unfolding in the media about trump’s administration, including in relation to the firing of Michael Flynn (as Michael Flynn), adviser to the President of Donald trump on national security, and the recent dismissal of FBI Director James Komi (James Comey). Similarly, this comparison demonstrates how the media and political environment in the USA and distort information about the investigation and wider political debate in the United States.
Talking to a leading CNN reporter Jake Tapper (CNN), the General-the Lieutenant in resignation of James Clapper (James Clapper), who served in the Obama administration as Director of National intelligence, said that us state institutions are “under threat”: outside — from Moscow and internal — from the trump. He accused the President of attempting to “checks and balances” imposed by the founders of the state. Clapper also tried to distance himself from his previous statements that any evidence of collusion between the electoral headquarters of the trump and the Russian officials, unknown to him. Which is very strange, Clapper said that he did not know about the counterintelligence of the FBI investigation before Komi reported it in March 2017, because during his tenure as Director of National intelligence he “gave” the Director of the FBI to decide “whether to speak, when to speak and what to speak” to him about such investigations.
These startling statements Clapper important for three reasons. First, a former intelligence officer, it seems, does not have particularly clear ideas about the “system of checks and balances,” enshrined in the Constitution, using Executive, legislative and judicial branches of government against each other, in order to ensure the conditions in which none of them can usurp power in the country. The dismissal of officials representing the Executive power, can not serve as “an attack” on the system of checks and balances, because this decision is clearly within the powers of the President. It is recognized by almost all other observers.
Secondly (and this is implied in the statement Clapper about the “assassination” of trump on the American institutions of government), former head of intelligence in the Obama administration clearly opposed to trump. Attempts Clapper to renounce their previous statements about the absence of evidence of collusion (which should have a certain value in a society organized on the principle of the presumption of innocence) are largely political. Anyone who appreciates his public statements, not recognizing this, is not acting according to the rules and doesn’t want to face the facts. This raises wider issues about the overall approach of the Obama administration to the evaluation (activity) of the intelligence services and investigations related to Russia’s intervention in the elections.
And finally, how did I not know that Clapper didn’t know about the counterintelligence investigation of collusion between electoral staff and the foreign state during the presidential election? Hard to believe that a senior representative of the intelligence services of the country might not know about the investigation that the Clapper is called “attack” on America. However, even if someone will believe the Clapper on the floor, the question arises — how did he not guess that such an investigation is conducted? When he learned of the “dossier”, which talked about the conspiracy? The reports that Clapper told President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on “file”, appeared in mid-January, before the inauguration of the trump. That Clapper thought the FBI would not investigate these allegations? And that Komi was supposed to report to Clapper that the FBI will investigate? An attempt by Clapper to pretend that he didn’t know about the investigation, similar to hypocrisy.
Apparently, some influential American media, who have a strong interest in contradictions and inconsistencies in the statements of the representatives of the administration trump, you should restore the chronology of events and to indicate that Clapper knew, when he knew it, and he told Congress and the American people in every time.
Former Minister of defense and CIA Director Robert gates (Robert Gates), speaking on CBS in the program Face the Nation, approached these matters quite differently. Gates, whom nobody can accuse of sympathizing with Moscow, analyzed the Russian intervention in elections in a historical context and was quite skeptical about the fact that Russian officials could blackmail Flynn. Despite the fact that, in his opinion, the dismissal of Komi was “implemented not the best way,” gates barely noticeable criticized the former FBI Director and his actions.
Gates said that Russian President Vladimir Putin “decided that the United States in principle made against him during the campaign for his reelection in 2012,” and “stood for” revolutions in Ukraine, Georgia and other neighbouring countries of Russia. According to gates, Putin has taken the response in a manner “very typical of the KGB” (probably indirectly referring to covert action) in accordance with its own perception of the actions of the United States (which gates is not approved and not rejected). The strategic goal of Putin, according to gates, is to reduce the visibility of legality of elections in the United States and Western countries to make criticism of the West to the elections in Russia have lost their value. Unlike Clapper, gates suggested a pragmatic and dispassionate assessment of Russia’s actions and their reasons. According to his sober remarks, the noble desire of America to promote the development of democracy in Russia will not protect the country from a response from Moscow, and it should be a cause for reflection.
Against Michael Flynn, gates said he believes “some exaggeration” to claim that Russia could blackmail a former national security adviser that he introduced Vice-President Mike Pence (Mike Pence) misleading, reporting false information about her talks with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. Gates explained that this vulnerability could result from the disclosure of secret or illegal actions, but the fact that someone “didn’t tell the truth to someone who works in the same building”, the reason for this vulnerability, most likely, will not. According to gates, if he found something like that, he would ask about a personal meeting with the President to talk about it. But he questioned the statement of former acting attorney General Sally Yates (Yates Sally) that Moscow could blackmail Flynn.
Perhaps the most important is that gates has indirectly supported the decision to dismiss trump’s Komi Republic, although he criticized the manner in which this dismissal was committed. When the programme host John Dickerson (John Dickerson) was asked gates that trump allegedly demanded Komi loyalty, gates replied, telling that when Obama became President, he told Obama: “You can count on me, I’ll be loyal to you. I’m not going to disclose the information. I’ll keep our differences secret. And if I can’t be loyal, I will leave.” And though gates isn’t in charge of the investigation work of the electoral headquarters of Obama (an important distinction), he pointed to one of the Central issues in the case of dismissal Komi — its inability either to control, because to investigate the leak of information about the investigation, “the Russian intervention”. Komi was obliged to be faithful to Trump that (the judicial system based on the presumption of innocence, the media environment emanating from the presumption of guilt, and the political system, which increasingly determine the party of unrestrained attacks) — would also contribute to the objectivity of the investigation and credibility of its outcomes.
The changing tone of the statements of Clapper does not hide his political hypocrisy and self-righteousness. That sharply differ from the statements of gates, the tone of which (to the same extent discreet) seems to reflect something deeper — well-thought-out and practical approach to politically and strategically important issues facing the United States. To complete the investigation of elections in 2016, therefore, to establish the facts, to take appropriate responses and then preserve at least some remnants of national unity will not be easy. To achieve this, the state institutions of the United States (including us media) will be more even-handed approach gates than bravado and solemn assurances in the spirit of the Clapper.
Paul J. Saunders is Executive Director of the Center for the national interest (Center for the National Interest). Former senior Advisor to the state Department in the administration of George W. Bush.