In a sign of just how desperate Republicans are getting the Chair of the House Intel Committee issues a cryptic statement this morning that did exactly what he wanted it to do. Create an alarm bordering on panic of an “imminent threat” to get journalists all wound up. And talking about something, anything other than Trump and his problems. Or the loss of another House seat last night. Or both. Except it seems there isn’t an “imminent threat.” Something of concern it seems but hardly what Intel Chair Mike Turner (who?) of Ohio implied.

The sad fact is that while we are rightly concerned about the damage Trump would do if back in the WH he started a process of damaging institutions that has continued years after he left office. I was appalled McCarthy named Devin freaking Nunes to the House Intel Committee years ago? Nunes? But let’s face it, that was because Trump wanted it. Nunes wasn’t someone (still isn’t) that should be trusted with anything and here he was on THAT committee, and worse got named Chair. I was both thankful and relieved when he was gone from Congress. However, the fact Republicans would name someone so unfit for that committee, much less a leading role was appalling.  Here’s why.

If you don’t know much about the so-called “Gang of Eight” it’s a really big deal and a crucial thing. There are highly sensitive matters that due to various laws require informing Congress but let’s face it. Winning an election doesn’t make someone worthy of trust with top secret information, much less the most highly classified stuff including ongoing covert operations. The solution was to create a special group, leaders (who one would until recently were highly qualified and even if you hated their policies trustworthy – at least on national security and keeping secrets) that would be briefed on damned near everything when necessary. So you had the Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate, the Speaker of the House and the Minority Leader of the House, and the Chair and “Ranking Member” (the top person from the Party out of power and therefore Vice-Chair) of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Eight people in total.

It used to take at least a decade’s worth of work and serious demonstrated capability to become a Majority/Minority Leader or a Speaker/Minority Leader. As for the intel committees only the best and most trustworthy people were even considered, much less made it on and when it came to each Party’s honcho gold-plated credentials in national security knowledge and experience and trustworthiness were essential. For those committees, it truly was “only the best.” That was before Trump. I’ve already explained his stunt with Nunes and how all of a sudden GOP appointees to the House Intel Committee no longer had to be the best. Or even good.  Then, the GOP took it step further by taking away Democrat’s top person, Adam Schiff’s committee assignments and all his invaluable knowledge and experience was lost. It wasn’t good enough for the GOP to trash their half, they decided to trash the Democrat’s side too!

Honestly, I have to admit that despite what happened with Schiff the GOP had come partially to its senses. However this article I saw earlier today from CBS News tells me otherwise. It starts out charactering that crypic statement released by Turner of a :serious national security threat” before going on to note that other Congress Critters started saying in effect “Well, there’s some concern but nothing to get all worked up about.” However, as I’ve said that was never Turner’s point/intention. He wanted to create a scare, a OMFG the sky if falling and I’ve told the President he HAS to declassify it NOW so Americans can see how dangerous things are.  Okay, maybe I’m the one engaging in some hype but from where I sit that was behind what Johnson released. His two (short) paragraph statement said:

“I am requesting that President Biden declassify all information relating to this threat so that Congress, the Administration, and our allies can openly discuss the actions necessary to respond to this threat,” Turner said.

Well, as I write this it’s still being talked about some in the news even though even freaking Republicans who’ve gone into the basement SCIF have pretty much all said the same thing – it’s something to keep an eye on but nothing to get worked up about. Even House Speaker Mike Johnson, in response to another’s comments that it was something Congress need to address in the “medium to long-term” (IOW, no imminent threat and not even something of concern in the near future) weighed in with:

House Speaker Mike Johnson echoed Himes’ comments, saying Congress would work to address the matter.

 “We just want to assure everyone, steady hands are at the wheel. We’re working on it and there’s no need for alarm,” he said.

If you were an adult, or at least well into your teens and followed politics and news twenty years ago you too might be having flashbacks to Bush 43’s team popping up with a “warning” of some “imminent threat” that always turned out after a while to be recycled info. on something months or even years old. “Weapons of Mass DISTRACTION” so to speak and designed to bullshit voters into “WE (the GOP) take national security matters seriously and Democrats don’t so vote for us” mentality.

I just wish since journalists kept talking about this as the day and evening progressed they’d have reminded folks of all that, and framed the story in a different way. Specifically to frame it along the lines of “House Intel Committee Chair Mike Turner tried to imply there’s a big and imminent national security threat a day before the House part of the Gang of Eight was scheduled to get a formal briefing from the National Security advisor. But he was hyping a concern that isn’t actually a threat and won’t be anytime soon.”

However, we all know how journalists are. So freaking gullible, and “SQUIRELL!” causes them to panic. Just like Turner knew they would. Still, my takeaway is that the GOP is starting to run really scared if they are resorting to shouting SQUIRELL! already. But the worst part is we see evidence of another institution trashed by Trump/Trumpism.


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    • The joke as it were is that it’s easy to get people all panicked over what’s actually a small problem. Sure, no one wants a squirrel running loose in the house but if you’ve ever seen Christmas Vacation remember how they all panicked? You’d think a rabid bear or lion was loose! That’s the point of the reference. A farce induced panic over a minor matter.



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