For two years, in the early 1990s, Richard Palmer served as the CIA station chief in the United States’ Moscow embassy. The events unfolding around him—the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the rise of Russia—were so chaotic, so traumatic and exhilarating, that they mostly eluded clearheaded analysis. But from all the intelligence that washed over his desk, Palmer acquired a crystalline understanding of the deeper narrative of those times.
Much of the rest of the world wanted to shout for joy about the trajectory of history, and how it pointed in the direction of free markets and liberal democracy. Palmer’s account of events in Russia, however, was pure bummer. In the fall of 1999, he testified before a congressional committee to disabuse members of Congress of their optimism and to warn them of what was to come.
Trump ally Roger Stone was arrested on Friday morning and charged with one count of obstruction of justice, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering.
It is safe to say President Trump did not read the new National Intelligence Strategy of the United States (NIS) released on Tuesday.
Which is a good thing.
The document shows the intelligence community (meaning the 17 U.S. government intelligence agencies) has mobilized against the threat posed by President Trump, his incoherent impulses on war and peace, and his furtive machinations with Russia.
The Trump administration has expanded the definition of “essential” to just about any government service that would cause the public great discomfort (and therefore affect Trump’s poll numbers)—like tax refunds or air passenger transport.
Exceptions are also made when the administration’s favorite industries face hardship as a result of the shutdown. For example, federal employees who work to support the onshore and offshore oil and gas drilling industry, forest management (timber sales) and the mortgage industry have also been deemed “essential” after their lobbyists complained about how the shutdown was harming their business.
Two of the impeachable offenses of which President Donald Trump has been accused — colluding with Russian political interference and working with Michael Cohen to violate campaign finance laws — would directly imply that he was elected as a result of fraud. And according to law professor Michael Glennon of Tufts University, this means that if Trump does get impeached for these alleged high crimes, Vice President Mike Pence must go down as well.