“Tailgunner Hillary and the Putin Hack”
What Robby Mook did is pure McCarthyism.
By Austin Bay
"Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"*
"On July 24 Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook carefully avoided naming his sources when he told when he told ABC’s “This Week” host and former Bill Clinton administration aide-de-media George Stephanopoulos “It’s troubling that some experts are now telling us that this was done by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump.” Mook’s 'this' was a cache of some 19,000 emails and associated documents stolen from a Democratic National Committee server and released on July 22 by Julian Assange’s highly-suspect hack-and-intimidate operation that goes by the nom de guerre Wikileaks.
Though Mook provided no proof that Russian agents committed the crime, he clearly painted Russia as an American adversary acting with malign intent. He then yoked Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to Russia’s neo-Czar Vladimir Putin: “I think that what’s troubling is how he (Trump) praised Vladimir Putin,” Mook said. Mook provided no proof that Putin favors Trump over Hillary Clinton nor did he quote anything Trump has said about Putin that would indicate Trump is a Putin puppet.
Mook’s statement had elements of a “circular cause and consequence” fallacy, where the author of the statement claims the consequence of the an action or phenomenon is its root cause. It’s not a precise example, but my translation of Mook’s innuendo illustrates the point: “George, buddy, like, this document dump damaged hell out of my candidate and your pal, Hillary. I mean, you’ve donated to the Clinton Foundation. ‘Some experts’ say Russia did it. Naw, I’m not gonna say who, but, man, you hurt Hillary then you help Trump. Therefore Russia did it to help Trump. That’s what I’m sayin’.”
Mook’s rumination also contained an implicit accusation of disloyalty, one laced with disturbing as well as richly ironic echoes of Wisconsin Sen. Joseph R. “Tailgunner Joe” McCarthy’s notorious “Enemies from Within” speech (February 9, 1950). McCarthy made an assertion that’s right there with Robby Mook: “When a great democracy is destroyed, it will not be from enemies from without, but rather because of enemies from within.” McCarthy also claimed “I have here in my hand a list of 205 names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department.”
Like Mook, McCarthy didn’t reveal any names. McCarthy employed vicious, deceitful rhetorical techniques in 1950. In 2016, the techniques remain vicious, deceitful and desperate. These are the techniques of those who wage War on Honesty.
As History.com notes, “insinuations of disloyalty,” connivance with Stalinist Russia and unsubstantiated accusations of treason were Tailgunner Joe trademarks. That McCarthy, the premier figure in the great 1950s Red Scare, became a ritual target of left wing Democrat hyper-ventilation and fear-mongering enriches the irony of Democrat Mook’s dishonest ad hominem assault. Who’s the Tailgunner here, Robby? You—or your boss, Hillary? You know she cleared everything you said on Stephanopoulos’ Clinton-friendly platform. (Many of us believe George wouldn’t have a national TV gig if it weren’t for his Clinton Administration service.)
In the midst of another scandal bred by Bill’s misogyny, Hillary decried a “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Yes, the trope of deep conspiracy—definitely a McCarthyite echo but during the Monica scandal major media just wouldn’t call Hillary on it. You and your boss have revived the trope, Robby.
Mook did not want to discuss the emails’ contents. The authentic emails prove the DNC sought to stymie Bernie Sanders’ campaign. The system was rigged. The angry reaction of Bernie Sanders-supporting Democrats had shaken the Democratic Party. A split was emerging that threatened Hillary’s coronation.
That was Mook’s immediate political problem—the threat to the convention. He had to deflect from the damaging content. Attacking Trump was a deflection, but implying Trump was in league with a foreign enemy was a sensational deflection. Robby Mook’s decision to go for sensational deflection tells me he’s from that class of political operatives who believe everything is political. No Robby, everything ain’t political—not in the self-serving, personal and tactical sense of the word your “This Week” shenanigans displayed.
The hack and the calculated timing of the documents release are a serious national security problem—a major political threat in the grand sense of threat to the body politic. The problem they represent is in the same serious league as Hillary’s rogue email server and her grossly negligent mishandling of classified national security information.
So, Robby, those of us fighting for truth insist on revisiting that issue. Poor security may have permitted the DNC hack—a form of gross negligence. Will you overlook your staff’s gross communication security negligence as blithely as Jim Comey ignored Hillary’s criminal negligence?
Think about it. Mook’s smear of Trump all but admits motivated American enemies hacked Hillary’s server and obtained classified information. Michael Ledeen has also weighed in with a cool analysis. Ledeen argues that the “…penetration of the DNC is almost certainly part of the larger story of Hillary’s use of an insecure private server. That server was apparently first discovered when ‘Guccifer’ penetrated Sidney Blumenthal’s email account. He had many exchanges with Hillary, and Guccifer found them. That led him to Hillary. And once you’re in Hillary’s server, you can be sure that there are links to the DNC.”
Ledeen also speculates on Guccifer’s connections to Russian intelligence and notes that the DNC files may “have been manipulated.” He isn’t as certain as Schindler “this is all Putin’s doing” and wonders if meta-data in the documents indicating Russian involvement are a “false flag” operation. But we don’t know yet. We need to find out. And when we do, unlike Jim Comey, we need to bring the full force of the law to bear.”
* On June 9, 1954 during the "McCarthy-Army" hearings Joseph N Welch unleashed his utter disdain for the self-absorbed, hedonistic, and narcissistic Joe McCarthy... "Senator, may we not drop this? We know he belonged to the Lawyers Guild. Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"
- Joseph Nye Welch, June 9, 1954.
Decency? From the Clintons? You're comatose and clinically brain dead of you believe that...