Post Card from the Swamp #25

(World’s worst Christmas Tree is up. I got it for a buck at the Methodist Church yard sale a few years ago. Even Charlie Brown would have a hard time loving it, but it suits my mood.)

Yeah, I know. The first sentence literally writes itself: how could things get any stranger than last week? We keep managing to top it. Honestly.

Why don’t we take a look at the Empty Quarter, where Iranian-backed Houthi Rebels have fired another rocket at a target near the UAE. Not just any rocket, mind you, and not just any target- a nuclear reactor. It was not a Scud this time, but rather a cruise missile based on a Russian design (KH-55, or in NATO parlance, the AS-15 KENT). I used to worry about those when I sailed the seas within range of Soviet Long Range Aviation. I worried because they were air launched, but that is the funny thing about counter-proliferation. Apparently the Iranians stole or bought one and modified the design. Now it comes in two flavors: the Soumar and the Meshkat, modified to launch from ground, sea or air. Of course you would actually have to have an Air Force to do the latter. The nasty things can reach out a couple thousand clicks. Given the turmoil in the Kingdom of late, it is easy to see why everyone is a little rattled.

The Houthis had a pretty good week. They killed the former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, punishing him for switching sides and seeking peace with Saudi Arabia. Pictures of Saleh’s corpse appeared on Houthi-run television after the militia said it had killed him as he fled for safety in Saudi Arabia.

North Korea is just as irritating as they were last week, and that situation has not improved.

Here at home we have a very strange election in Alabama, where a win could be a loss. Then there is a new tax bill that may actually land on the President’s desk by Christmas. Meanwhile, the debt ceiling is back and the Congress has jumped into their clown cars to fight about it.

Perhaps the most distressing turn of events in the Swamp is the revelation that the FBI has been weaponized to go after political opponents. We knew much of this already. We knew the acting AG, Sally Yates, disliked the new Administration- nothing wrong with that, mind you- but the Swamp Creatures were determined to mire the incoming Whiz Kids with a crisis on Day One. Apparently the Logan Act was cited as justification for getting a FISA warrant to surveil members of the transition team. That is kind of a scary prospect.

Say, if you decided that a broken down arthritic old spook was blogging intemperately, you could pay someone to write a paper about what I did the last time I was in Moscow. It was fun, BTW. But imagine if that paper was based on lies provided by a foreign intelligence entity, and then it was used to get a warrant to tap my phones and internet communication, ambush interview me without benefit of counsel, and then get me to plead guilty to a felony. People have been lying to the FBI for a long time, and I have no idea why General Flynn though he would get a pass like all the others. But of course, no one has ever been prosecuted for a Logan Act violation, and this smells to high heaven.

I don’t even have to mention that slimy special agent Peter Strzok, who according to press reports “was considered one of the most experienced and trusted F.B.I. counterintelligence investigators.”

Apparently not. He is now working in the Bureau’s HR department after Special Counsel Robert Mueller found out about his intemperate blogging with his FBI mistress. I am not making this stuff up. Strzok in the middle of the missing e-mail “matter,” and the initial part of the Russia investigation. The Feds have been shielding him from testimony, which is curious thing. I can’t find even one mention of the FBI in the Constitution, but there must be some secret annex out there that says they are an independent power. Efrem Zimbalist must be rolling over in his grave.

And amid all that, the anniversary of Pearl Harbor is tomorrow- so to get a jump on it, I mention it now. If I get bombed later, it will be my own choice. There are consequences to ignoring things. Really big ones, sometimes.



Copyright 2017 Vic Socotra

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