When the Whistle Blows
This below is full of disclaimers. That's because I have no idea how much of it is true. But it comes from a good source, and is too notable not to reference. But I like to be fair, and so that means a lot of disclaimers
So, to start, as I said, I don't know if this article has any truth to it. In fact, the article itself says it doesn't know if there is any truth to it (which speaks well for the article.) However, as noted, it comes from a pretty good source, Spectator USA, which is the U.S. branch of the well-regarded British publication, The Spectator. And being a good, responsible outlet, they acknowledge that they have no idea if any of these whistleblower reports are true.
So, there may be zero truth to this.
The core of the article is that there are seven intelligence whistleblowers who are willing to come forward and testify to the House Intelligence Committee. But that's only the core. It's another report that stands out most of all. And it stands out not just for what would be damning information, if true, but also for the question it would answer about another bewildering matter.
The report from this new, prospective whistleblower, is that Jared Kushner, who we know is close friends with Saudi prince Mohammad bin Salman (who, in turn, has previously reportedly claimed to have Kushner in his "pocket") gave permission to MBS to arrest American resident journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was susequently killed and dismembered.
Worse -- and bizarrely, yes, the report is even worse -- is that this is the foundation for why Trump betrayed our Kurdish allies and withdrew American troops from Syria. This supposed whistleblower apparently says that Turkish intelligence had intercepted the call between Kushner and MBS, and this is the information that Turkey's President Erdogan then used to get Trump to remove U.S. troops from Syria.
And as long as we're rambling about reports of possibilities, let's throw in a positive one. The Spectator article also says that the House Intelligence Committee knows about these these allegations and plans to investigate further.
Again, I don't know if any of these reports of whistelblowers have the slightest validity. Nor do I know anything to the contrary. I only know that The Spectator is a serious publication -- who acknowledges that even they don't know if any of this is true.
Clearly,. there are many questions, starting with why wouldn't a whistleblower have come out over that already? And it's an easy answer -- I don’t know. But then, look how much has gone on in the Trump administration over more than three years dating back to the 2016 campaign and how we’ve only had two whistleblowers in the past three months. And look how this most-notable whistleblower of the Ukraine phone call is being treated. And maybe the whistleblower's source for this story isn’t in a position to testify with even second-hand knowledge from a trusted source.
And maybe it’s not true. To show how horrible this administration is, it certainly touches all the bases for being true. But that doesn’t make it true.
Another question is -- if the story is true, wouldn't there have been other people on the call with Trump and Erdogan when the reported "threat" was made? Honestly, I have no idea how many people are required to be on every presidential call with a foreign leader. But more to the point, maybe the threat didn’t come from a direct call between Erdogan and Trump, but rather initial word of the purported evidence Turkey has was gotten to Trump through other sources or backchannel communication, and the Erdogan call – on the surface – wouldn't have to be damning or even alarming. Just sort of “Hello, Donald, I’m following up on other communication you might have received and want to say how much I’d like the U.S. to remove its troops from Syria.”
Or maybe it’s not true. But – but that’s how horrible this administration is. It is totally believable.
You can read the full article here. One caveat -- The Spectator USA has a very small limit on the number for free page-views you can have. So, if you click on the link an read it, know that if you want to reference it again then to be safe you might want to do a full-page copy of all the text.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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