The author of a recent op-ed or New York Times blog post pens that Donald Trump “has attacked the C.I.A. and dismissed its conclusions” and that Trump “does not value their work and does not trust their conclusions.” Of course, Vicki Divoll is wrong. Donald Trump has done no such thing and she, and those who argue otherwise should know better. It is an old yarn, used by the establishmentarians – Republicans and Democrats – to attack conservatives or people with whom they disagree with.
According to the byline Ms. Divoll is a former CIA assistant general counsel and former Senate Intelligence Committee general counsel. What the New York Times byline omits is that she was also a donor to Bernie Sanders for President and also donated funds to the Obama-Biden campaign several years ago. During the Edward Snowden scandal, she was also banned by the Senate in 2013 from talking to reporters.
Foreign meddling in US political processes is not new, it has happened since the founding of the Republic. If Russia, or any other power or interest has interfered in American elections, then we must get to the bottom of it in an orderly process done by the Congressional oversight Committees, for starters. In addition to investigating the alleged Russia meddling, Congress should also investigate, well, why not the Vatican?
Vatican officials, maybe the Pope, invited Bernie Sanders to attend a conference at the Vatican earlier this year during the peak of the New York primary season. And, while they are at it, Congress should also investigate senior IC officials to make sure they are not politicizing intelligence or, a more likely scenario, leaking classified information.
Beyond Russia, the Vatican, as well as senior IC officials, Congress could also investigate every US non-profit that receives donations from foreign governments, foreign organizations such as the EU, or other foreign government interests or groups. In order to limit the universe of potential US non-profits that could be targeted, Congress should just focus on those with a Washington, DC presence or those receiving a certain amount of funds from foreign sources. What should they look for? Lobbying campaigns disguised as educational activities that, in essence, do not require lobbying registration.
I could keep going. I hope you get the point. Foreign meddling in US political system happens every day in this town. We have laws on the books to deal with some of it, including the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The system could use update. Maybe it is a good time to make is so.
If anyone is damaging the IC, it is not Donald Trump. It is people like Ms. Divoll who are politicizing the intelligence process and agencies that help fuel left-wing and Democratic party political agendas at the expense of US national security. Policymaking by leak and conspiracy theory is dangerous and, frankly, un-American. What else could it be? Ms. Divoll, presumably, does not have access to the classified information. So how can she conclude anything?