Sunday, March 5, 2017

Democrats Face a Pandora Dilemma

There are a couple ways the Democrats might respond to the recent wiretapping allegations. They might assess the situation based on a sober analysis of the facts and evidence available to them compliant with the standards of journalistic integrity. I jest, of course. They might also respond by doing everything in their powers to rebuke and ridicule the claims, effectively working to protect Obama from a serious public inquiry into the matter. If their standard pattern of behavior and initial reactions are any hint, they will pursue the route of legitimizing Obama's actions. But is that the wisest strategy for them?

Why Wiretap?

Note that these days the term wiretap is typically meant in the sense of a general interception of communications. Obviously a wireless phone is not literally wiretapped.

I showed in Mainstream Media Unsure How to Best Discredit Itself Over Wiretapping Situation that the Obama administration has a long history of wiretapping. Why would they do this? What benefits might be gained from intercepting the communications of a journalist or a political rival?

Danger warning

All politicians say they want honest and accurate journalism. But if some hypothetical entity was engaged in widespread unethical and illegal behaviors, they might become very concerned, even somewhat paranoid about journalists venturing too close to revealing their misdeeds. (Remember this is completely hypothetical). It is the priority of any shady politician to keep tabs on journalists and be forewarned of any impending scandals.

Competitive advantage

Intel always gives the recipient unfair competitive advantage. There are indications that information gleaned from surveillance made its way to the Clinton campaign. Such actions, if proven, would constitute a massive blow to the notion of a free election, and corroborate Trump's claim that it was rigged.

Political weaponry

Surveillance gives enormous leverage over the subject of interest. If the dubious observer just so happens to find evidence of criminal or embarrassing behavior, they can use that information to either blackmail or destroy their opponent.

Why Russia?

It seems that surveillance permission was granted to the Obama administration after their second application to the FISA courts. They did not make an attempt to get a surveillance order from a standard court. It would be nearly ludicrous to do so. To go on the record to ask for a warrant against the opposition party's candidate would be quite a scandal. But FISA warrants are issued in secret. That is the warrant you want if you're a shady politician trying to use surveillance as a weapon against an opponent. But the warrant is also very restricted in scope. Because it is effectively a violation of the 4th Amendment, the warrants are limited to foreign intelligence surveillance (the FIS in FISA) information necessary to protect the United States against "grave" "hostile" attack, war-like sabotage, or international terror. It's not enough for Obama to merely allege that Trump is generally a threat to the nation. There must be a concrete plot, either real or suspected, and of a foreign nature.

This is why we have the alleged Russian connection. If you've been baffled over their insistence on pushing this farsical inquisition, be baffled no longer. The Russian connection satisfied the need for the surveillance to be of a foreign nature. With that in place, surveillance was put on the Trump campaign in complete secrecy. This explains not only the pushing of the Russia conspiracy theory during the election, but why they are pressing hard on it still to this day. Once Trump was elected it became obvious that the surveillance would be exposed. They are desperate to keep the idea of Russian collusion planted in the minds of the public to have plausible deniability for using the state security apparatus against the political opposition, which is approximately the definition of tyranny.

The Dilemma

The situation facing the left is this. If they admit that the surveillance was improper then they pave the way for high-ranking former officials, and perhaps Obama himself, to be sent to prison. They almost certainly won't do this. They'll find every reason to deny or justify the surveillance. Obama probably won't go to jail. But then they've justified tyrannical behavior, and now Trump is president. The precedent will be made that to put surveillance on the political opposition, all one has to do is make vague accusations of collusion with a foreign entity and get a secret court order. So which is the better option for the left: Do they let their hero's legacy go down in flames? Or do they open the Pandora's box of legitimizing state tyranny under an administration they are quite certain is tyrannical?

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