Thursday, 9/21/17

I try not to let my adversity toward Trump to cloud my vision and make me credulous. Bad as he is, there are some things he hasn’t done. Which brings us to this.

The problem with the word “collusion” is that when Russia stirs up U.S. politics in its own interest, its actions can be convenient for different parties. That includes a U.S. intelligence community with its own ideas about what needs to happen. More than ever, the story line that Kremlin efforts were aimed with winsome simplicity at helping Mr. Trump seems largely a fabrication of the U.S. intelligence agencies.

If so, the moment of true political corruption may have come with Mr. Trump’s improbable, unexpected victory, when the agencies suddenly switched their diagnosis of Vladimir Putin’s motives. On Oct. 31, voters hadn’t yet gone to the polls. The New York Times summarized the Obama administration view that Russia’s effort “was aimed at disrupting the presidential election rather than electing Mr. Trump.”

Then came Mr. Trump’s unanticipated triumph, and the administration quickly revised its judgment from “Putin meddled” to “Putin meddled to elect Trump.” …

Now ask yourself: Were the evolving claims about Russia’s motives based on any more solid intelligence than were the Trump dossier or Russia’s fake Loretta Lynch email? Or is the picture here of our intelligence officials serially grabbing after whatever flotsam serves their immediate needs?

(Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.)

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“Liberal education is concerned with the souls of men, and therefore has little or no use for machines … [it] consists in learning to listen to still and small voices and therefore in becoming deaf to loudspeakers.” (Leo Strauss)

There is no epistemological Switzerland. (Via Mars Hill Audio Journal Volume 134)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.