Democrats may be taking most of the heat for dossier-gate these days, but we now know it was #nevertrump neoconservatives, not the left, who got the ball rolling on the shady acquisition of dirt on Donald Trump.
Before the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic party sought the now-infamous Trump dossier from the Russians (through three cut-outs), the engagement of the now-equally infamous Fusion GPS organization had already commenced. The DC-based commercial research and strategic intelligence firm began its involvement with the 2016 election when they were hired by the online publication, the Washington Free Beacon.
So who runs the Free Beacon? In a word, neoconservatives. The organization was bankrolled by anti-Trump neocon billionaire Paul Singer. It began in 2012 as a project of the Center for American Freedom, whose board included one Bill Kristol, publisher of The Weekly Standard and leader of the #nevertrump movement who tried and repeatedly failed to low-bridge Donald Trump and find an alternative around whom conservatives could rally. After promising a candidate he described as “an impressive one, with a strong team and a real chance,” Kristol came forward with…David French, an obscure writer for National Review. French ultimately declined the invitation to run, but Kristol continued to pound Trump as ferociously as any Democrat. Trump, predictably, called Kristol a loser.
With Democrats now trying to duck the blame for spending over three million dollars for the Trump dossier by claiming Republicans started it, the Free Beacon entered the spotlight and quickly issued a disclaimer denying any role in the acquisition of the dossier and the inclusion of British spy Christopher Steele into the process:
“…during the 2016 election cycle we retained Fusion GPS to provide research on multiple candidates in the Republican presidential primary, just as we retained other firms to assist in our research into Hillary Clinton. All of the work that Fusion GPS provided to the Free Beacon was based on public sources, and none of the work product that the Free Beacon received appears in the Steele dossier. The Free Beacon had no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele.”
Nowhere in their effort to explain away their involvement in the Fusion GPS investigation does the Free Beacon mention any other Republican candidates they paid to investigate. So we are left with the choice of either accepting their explanation or imputing to them the same motive as the Democrats: to stop Donald Trump at any cost. That makes for an easy choice.
Given their vitriolic attacks on Trump from the moment he became a serious candidate, and the continuing contempt shown for him by Mr. Kristol, we have good reason to suspect the neocons at the Free Beacon did not merely place Trump on a long list of targets to routinely investigate.
To say this whole thing is repulsive would be an understatement. Veteran columnist Pat Buchanan summed things up nicely:
“…thus we have Free Beacon neocons, never-Trump Republicans, the Hillary Clinton campaign, the DNC, a British spy and comrades in Russian intelligence, and perhaps the FBI, all working with secret money and seedy individuals to destroy a candidate they could not defeat in a free election.”
Give Bill Kristol and his neocon brethren credit for one thing: persistence. Kristol may have shot himself in the foot as the face of the neocon resistance to Trump, looked like a fool, and earned the sore loser label placed on him by the president, but he carries on with his long, slow march to undermine the Trump presidency. And it seems not to matter one bit to him and his fellow travelers that Trump has provided a striking contrast to a Hillary Clinton presidency, which promised to represent everything Kristol and his gang of failed neoconservatives have for years claimed to oppose.
One might have thought that after the Iraq War, the fall of Libya, and all the other military adventures they so heavily supported which turned into disasters, the neocons might rightfully recede into the woodwork in disgrace. Instead, they have not only refused to admit they were wrong and continued in an active state of denial, but actively conspired to take down the presidential candidate of their own party.
Their behavior is eerily similar to that of leftists after the fall of the Soviet Union who refused to admit their complicity in the spread of murderous Communism. Perhaps, like the Soviets, neocons will themselves soon be relegated to the ash heap of history.