The distinguished political scientist Angelo Codevilla coined the ominous term “cold civil war” to describe America’s precarious condition...The augury of American fracture will not be street violence, but a constitutional crisis implicating virtually the whole of America’s governing caste.
The shock troops in the cold civil war are not gunmen but lawyers.
A considerable portion of America’s permanent bureaucracy, including elements of its intelligence community, is engaged in an illegal and unconstitutional mutiny against the elected commander-in-chief, President Donald Trump. Most of the Democratic Party and a fair sampling of the Republican establishment wants to force Trump out of office, and to this end undertook an entrapment scheme to entice the president and his staff into actions which might be construed after the fact as obstruction of justice. By means yet undisclosed, the mutineers forced Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn from office and now seek to bring down the president for allegedly obstructing an investigation of Gen. Flynn that arose in the first place from the entrapment scheme.
One of the Republican Party’s most distinguished statesman recently told a closed gathering that a “cold coup” is underway against the president. I do not know and have not sought to learn the substance of the allegations; Gen. Flynn has no choice as a matter of self-preservation but to hold his peace and presently cannot defend himself in public.
By no coincidence is Gen. Flynn the central character in this scenario. As I wrote in February, the CIA really is out to get him:
Flynn’s Defense Intelligence Agency produced a now-notorious 2012 report warning that chaos in Syria’s civil war enabled the rise of a new Caliphate movement, namely ISIS. For full background, see Brad Hoff’s July 2016 essay in Foreign Policy Journal: Flynn humiliated the bungling CIA and exposed the incompetence and deception of the Obama administration, and got fired for it. If anyone doubts the depth of CIA incompetence in Syria, I recommend an account that appeared this month in the London
In cinematic terms, the investigation of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election is what Alfred Hitchcock called "the McGuffin," namely the object that the spies are searching for. The plot revolves around it, explained the celebrated director, but as to what it specifically is, “the audience don’t care.” If it is proven that Russian cyber-spies hacked the email account of Democratic National Committee Chairman John Podesta and handed embarrassing information to Wikileaks, we will know that Russia has done what all intelligence agencies have done for centuries: Leak embarrassing political information to the press.
Western intelligence services leak information about Putin’s alleged personal fortune and personal life and skullduggery to the media, as well as information about the dodgy connections of Chinese officials and their offspring to business. Podesta and his gang at the DNC used unethical and perhaps illegal means to sandbag the campaign of Sen. Sanders, leaks about which embarrassed Hillary Clinton. Sen. Sanders, knowing on which side his bread is buttered, declined to make an issue of the sandbagging, allowing Trump’s enemies to transform what should have been an investigation of corruption in the Democratic Party into a fairy tale about Russian spies stealing an American election with implied collusion by the Trump campaign.
The Trump-Russia collusion story is nonsense, as its disseminators know better than anyone else. The object of the exercise is not to support the innuendo, but to launch an investigation which can provoke the White House into responses that might be construed as illegal. The intelligence leaks involved in framing the story alone are probably sufficient grounds to put several dozen senior officials in federal prison for double-digit terms. That consideration gauges the scale of the problem: the mutineers have committed multiple felonies, and their downside should the mutiny go wrong is not ignominious retirement but hard time at Leavenworth.
For the moment, the mutineers have the momentum. The Trump administration continues to run on a skeleton staff, with the vast majority of key positions still unoccupied. If my surmise is correct, it was unable to persuade the director of the FBI, the nation’s chief watchdog, to undertake vigorous countermeasures against the mutiny, for example, a comprehensive screening of electronic communications by the reporters who received leaks of classified materials