Yesterday, December 9, was full of breaking news. First thing in the morning, the Washington Post published an expose of the way government officials have lied about the situation in Afghanistan for the past fifteen years. After 9/11, we invaded that nation in order to topple the Taliban that was supporting Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. That was the easy part. Then our government decided to engage in some nation-building, attempting to turn a society of warring tribes into a Westphalian-style nation. That has not worked out so well. Unfortunately, our presence in Afghanistan has become the norm, and anyone suggesting we withdraw faces an uphill battle. The current leadership of the Pentagon, Congress, and our intelligence agencies are all true believers whose default position is to maintain the status quo. They don’t call Afghanistan the “Graveyard of Empires” for nothing – great civilizations from Alexander’s Greeks to the British to the Soviet Union have all been confronted with their own hubris in that region, and the United States is no different.
A few hours later, the Office of the Inspector General released its much-anticipated report about the initial FISA applications the FBI filed to spy on the Trump campaign in 2016. As expected, both sides claimed victory, but the report is quite damning of the way the FBI omitted information and even outright lied as they sought the authority to investigate the Trump team. Now that we know the NSA spies on American citizens and then lies about it, the CIA is engaged in coups all across the world, and the FBI is telling lies in order to spy on the President of the United States, is there any reason to keep these agencies around? At this point we need to have a serious discussion about whether these organizations do more harm to the American people than good.
Finally, the Democrats’ impeachment process has moved into its endgame. They announced that they will hold a vote to impeach President Trump on two articles – “abuse of office” and “obstruction of Congress”. I have no idea what these two accusations even mean. They are both so vague as to be meaningless. As I explained in this week’s podcast, the Democrats are searching for a crime to fit their desired punishment. Impeachment is just their latest attempt to undo the election of 2016. Earlier this week, the esteemed Victor Davis Hanson wrote an article for American Greatness comparing this impeachment attempt with those of the past. As usual, he does a much better job saying what I was trying to say.
News is moving fast these days. Unfortunately, that means that the lies of our government will soon be overshadowed by some other breaking story. In the end, I doubt anyone will be held to account. Government agencies have become behemoths that are not beholden to American citizens, despite the fact that it is the citizens who are supposed to be the source of governmental authority. Reform seems impossible. A complete collapse might be necessary in order to rebuild.