The creators of “1917” may have rendered the most convincing war movie ever made. I say “convincing” and not “realistic” because I have no basis for comparing what I saw on the screen with what really happened in the Great War. But I will note one apparent dramatic effect that did not line up with the facts as I understand them that were recorded from this awful war: The effect of artillery shells.
The term “bombshell” refers to the sudden and devastating effect of exploding artillery ordnance. In politics, particularly in the Trump era, journalists use the term as a metaphor to describe breaking news stories projected to create a major change in the political fortunes of one side or the other.
In the climax of “1917,” we watch the main character dash over the open ground above an English trench as German shells explode all around. Explosions a few yards away shower the character in dust and occasionally push him to the ground. In the real war, a relatively few pieces of artillery caused 75 percent of known casualties in infantry clashes along the hundreds of miles of snaking trenches. It stands to reason, therefore, that a soldier could never have survived a real “bombshell” exploding within a few yards as the movie shows. But “1917” is just a movie and those weren’t real bombshells.
It’s safe to say the same of the latest “bombshell” reported by Politico. A Ukrainian associated with Rudy Giuliani, Lev Parnas, allegedly will testify that Donald Trump intended to hold up aid in order to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
Understand, the Bidens are above the law. They’re inside the velvet rope, in the upper tier of our two-tiered justice system. And investigating them is a violation of elite privilege. So if Trump withheld aid to get to the bottom of the unholy triangle of corruption between the father, the son, and the Ukrainian energy giant, he must be removed. Investigating the Bidens jeopardizes a vital source of revenue for so many in Washington. Before the Trump legal team flies a surrender flag, however, a little context might be appropriate.
Parnas is under tremendous pressure. Election law, once again, has been selectively enforced to gain a partisan political advantage. Parnas is accused of a technical violation of election law—donating money directly to political campaigns in America. I say “technical” because experienced foreign interests routinely drive truckloads of cash into our elections through a common loophole that allows laundering the money through a U.S. corporation before using it to influence American elections. Parnas had such a corporation but sloppily failed to invoke the loophole.
The Parnas thousands are a drop in the ocean of the half-billion dollars spent by foreigners in the 2018 midterm election cycle alone. The Southern District of New York, the current headquarters of the ongoing “lawfare” insurrection against our democracy, cherry-picked this target to pressure Parnas to compose dirt against the SDNY’s chief political opponent, Donald Trump.
Using official U.S. government power to seek dirt from Ukrainians to damage a political opponent? It would be amusing if not for the fact that the only observed law in the era of get-Trump is that anything done to harm Trump is legal. The corollary, of course, is that anything done to help him can be prosecuted.
This is yet another installment in an interminable series of supposed “bombshells.” The formula is getting stale as the get-Trump forces keep repeating the same script of touting the “bombshell” witness who is about to take down Trump.
Remember the Michael Flynn “bombshell?” In December of 2017, the Daily Beast, among others, breathlessly foretold the end of Trump when Flynn agreed to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The Daily Beast quoted Robert Litt, a former senior lawyer for the office of the director of national intelligence, “the purpose of Mueller’s actions against Flynn on Friday are to hunt bigger Trump administration targets.”
We see now that the Flynn “bombshell” did no damage to Trump even if it made a loud noise while spraying a cloud of dirt.
Remember Stormy Daniels? In May 2018, the media were asking whether the porn star would bring down President Trump. The Guardian had a particularly interesting take that has not stood the test of time: “‘Ultimately, he is going to be forced to resign,’ said Michael Avenatti, the attorney for the adult film actor who says she had an affair with Donald Trump and was paid by Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, to keep it quiet. ‘I don’t know how he will ultimately spin his departure, but I firmly believe there is going to be too much evidence of wrongdoing by him and those around him for him to be able to survive the balance of his term.’”
Avenatti is currently incarcerated. Donald Trump is still the president.
Remember the Paul Manafort flip? In September of 2018, Mueller finally wore down Trump’s former campaign chairman. Manafort agreed to cooperate with Mueller. Vox wrote that Manafort’s cooperation fit into a grander plan to take down Trump, “However, many believe that Mueller is using these indictments essentially as building blocks for his larger case on that central matter. He’s lined up his cooperating former Trump aides, and he’s indicted some Russians. It would seem natural for the next step to be connecting those two threads. Indeed, reports sourced to people interviewed by Mueller’s team (and government officials the team has contacted) have made clear the special counsel has been delving deep into Trump and his associates’ ties to Russia.”
Manafort’s cooperation led nowhere. The “bombshell” sprayed more dirt but to no effect.
Remember James Comey’s “bombshell” testimony before Congress? CNN falsely predicted that the former FBI Director would corroborate the media’s obstruction theory that Trump fired Comey to stop the FBI director from investigating the President. As the Washington Post reported, CNN wrongly foretold, “Trump has made a blanket claim that Comey told him multiple times that he was not under investigation. But one source said Comey is expected to explain to senators that those were much more nuanced conversations from which Trump concluded that he was not under investigation.”
The Post further noted, “On CNN’s air, analyst Gloria Borger put matters more starkly, saying, ‘Comey is going to dispute the president on this point if he’s asked about it by senators, and we have to assume that he will be. He will say he never assured Donald Trump that he was not under investigation, that that would have been improper for him to do so.’”
That’s not what happened. Comey did tell the president that the FBI wasn’t investigating him. Of course, we now know that the FBI had already concluded that there was nothing to the Russia collusion hoax (but that’s a different story).
Remember when the SDNY trampled on attorney-client confidentiality to flip Michael Cohen? It’s a particularly ugly chapter on the assault on the rule of law perpetrated by the get-Trump movement. In August of 2018, the New York Times wondered whether the president’s former attorney might bring him down. Like the Parnas case, the SDNY employed selective enforcement of “campaign finance” law as a weapon against Trump.
But the charges made no sense. Donald Trump was accused of using his own personal money to settle a sexual misconduct allegation. So? Again, another fake bombshell. All dirt and noise, no damage.
There’s another “bombshell” every 30 to 45 days, so this is just a sampling of these stories. They all end the same way: Before the dust can settle to reveal the last dud, another one explodes to distract us all. The formula is getting tiresome. Is there anything good on Netflix tonight?