It shouldn’t surprise that Andy Divine shares a propinquity with Fiona Hill. Ms. Hill’s thesis adviser was the notorious Neo-Conservative Richard Pipes. So her Russophobia, bordering on paranoia, is comfortable political territory for Andy. The first paragraph of his essay is…
I’ve been in Britain, so it was tough to give this week’s impeachment hearings the attention they deserve. But one obvious theme has emerged: the imperturbability, professionalism, and courage of the women who have testified. When I sat down last night and watched some of the footage of Fiona Hill online, I was gobsmacked.
‘Gobsmacked‘ is familiar descriptive territory for Andy, in sum, hyperbole is the first and last line of argument. His essay proceeds via a riff on what her voice evokes in emotional terms , and his familiarity with the various accents of the districts Britain. And his fascination with her personal history. The admiration of one scholarship student for another?
What of Ms. Hill’s testimony? available here:
At about the 1:10:12 point in the c-span video Ms. Hill describes the Party Line of both the New Democrats, and the Neo-Conservatives, about ‘Russian Interference’ in the 2016 American Election*. And the attempt by the Russians to deflect that, by the use of the charge that Ukraine interfered in the American election.
From these modest origins, as she acknowledged in her opening statement, Hill became what we saw yesterday. One of the wretched things about the last few years has been following and staying sane in the blizzard of bluster, misinformation, gaslighting, conspiracy theories, and the actual empirical, complex reality we have been confronted with. To keep one’s focus while enduring this torrent of deliberate confusion and competing narratives has been extremely hard.
But not for Hill.
It is never hard for the ideologue to adhere to the approved narrative. Andy knows the territory, it is his home ground! The last two paragraphs of his essay, are awash in a maudlin exploration of the dimensions of political kitsch, allied to the patriotism of a 4th of July picnic speech, by an old pol, who relies on the cultivated ignorance of his audience.
Hearing Hill’s still voice of calm in this storm moved me deeply, and not just because she comes from the country of my birth too, but because her immigrant, accented voice revealed an understanding of America in a way this president simply doesn’t understand. She knows what’s at stake. And she has done her part. It gives me hope, I guess. Hope that we can, in fact, expose and defeat this malignancy at the heart of our democracy.
If we see Trump as the poison he truly is, we have now also seen something else. We have seen the antidote.
P.S. With 27 hours and 30 minutes of video, available for viewing on C-Span, of these hearings of last week -its a full time job, to even stay moderately well informed on this issue!
* This opening portion of Ms. Hill’s testimony, in which see acts ‘as if’ she were a member of the Committee, rather that as a witness, is telling!
THE RUSSIANS INTERESTS TO DELEGITIMIZE OUR ENTIRE PRESIDENCY. ONE YRBISSUE I DO WANT TO RAISE AND I THINK THIS WOULD RESONATE WITH OUR COLLEAGUES ON THE COMMITTEE FROM THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS THAT THE GOAL OF THE RUSSIANS WAS TO PUT WHOEVER BECAME THE PRESIDENT BY TRYING TO TIP THEIR HANDS ON ONE SIDE OF THE SCALE UNDER A CLOUD. SO IF SENATOR CLINTON HAD BEEN ELECTED AS PRESIDENT, AS INDEED MANY EXPECTED IN THE RUN-UP TO THE ELECTION IN 2016, SHE TOO WOULD HAVE HAD MAJOR QUESTIONS ABOUT HER LEGITIMACY. AND I THINK WHAT WE’RE SEEING HERE AS A RESULT OF ALL OF THESE NARRATIVES AS THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT WAS HOPING FOR. MISINFORMATION, DOUBT, THEY HAVE EVERYBODY QUESTIONING THE LEGITIMACY OF A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, BE IT PRESIDENT TRUMP OR POTENTIALLY A PRESIDENT CLINTON, BUT THEY WOULD PIT ONE SIDE OF OUR ELECTORATE AGAINST THE OTHER, THEY WOULD PIT ONE PARTY AGAINST THE OTHER. AND THAT’S WHY I WANTED TO MAKE SUCH A STRONG POINT AT THE VERY BEGINNING. BECAUSE THERE WAS CERTAINLY INDIVIDUALS AND MANY OTHER COUNTRIES WHO HAD HARSH WORDS FOR BOTH OF THE — WHO HAD HARSH WORDS FOR MANY OTHER CANDIDATES DURING THE PRIMARIES, A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO WERE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE. THERE WERE MANY PEOPLE TRYING THEMSELVES TO GAME THE OUTCOME AS YOU KNOW IN THE UNITED KINGDOM, THE BOOKIES TAKE BETS, YOU CAN GO TO LADBROKES OR WILLIAM HILL AND LAY BETS ON WHO YOU THINK WILL BE THE CANDIDATE. THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT WERE TRYING TO LAY THEIR OWN BETS. THEY WANT TO GIVE A SPREAD, MAKE SURE THAT WHOEVER THEY HAD BET ON WHOEVER THEY TRIED TO TIP THE SCALES WOULD ALSO EXPERIENCE SOME DISCOMFORT THAT THEY WOULD BE BEHOLDEN TO THEM IN SOME WAY, THAT THEY WOULD CREATE JUST THE KIND OF CHAOS WE HAVE SEEN IN OUR POLITICS. SO I JUST WANT TO, AGAIN, EMPHASIZE WE NEED TO BE VERY CAREFUL AS WE DISCUSS ALL OF THESE ISSUES NOT TO GIVE THEM MORE FODDER THAT THEY CAN USE AGAINST US IN 2020.
Rep. Schiff then comments on Ms. Hill’s testimony. I’ve rendered in bold type Schiff’s comments, that render the utterly failed Mueller Investigation subject to, not just to an act of breathtaking revisionism, but a re-write.
THANK YOU, DR. HILL. I WILL NOW PROCEED TO THE FIRST ROUND OF QUESTIONS. AS DETAILED IN THE MEMO PROVIDED TO THE COMMITTEE MEMBERS, 45 MINUTES OF QUESTIONS CONDUCTED BY THE CHAIRMAN OR MAJORITY COUNCILFULED BY 45 MINUTES FOR THE RANKING MEMBER OR MINORITY COUNCIL. FOLLOWING THAT, UNLESS I SPECIFY ADDITIONAL EQUAL TIME FOR QUESTIONING WE’LL PROCEED UNDER THE FIVE MINUTE RULE. I RECOGNIZE MYSELF FOR MAJORITY COUNCIL FOR THE FIRST ROUND OF QUESTIONS. FIRST OF ALL, THANK YOU, BOTH, FOR BEING HERE. THANK YOU FOR TESTIFYING. DR. HILL, YOUR STORY REMINDS ME A GREAT DEAL OF WHAT WE HEARD FROM ALEXANDER VINDMAN. FEW IMMIGRANT STORIES WE HEARD JUST IN THE COURSE OF THESE HEARINGINGS ARE AMONG INGS ARE AMONG THE MOST POWERFUL I HEARD. YOU AND DR. — AND COLONEL VINDMAN AND OTHERS ARE THE BEST OF THIS COUNTRY. AND YOU CAME HERE BY CHOICE AND WE ARE SO BLESSED THAT YOU DID. SO WELCOME. MY COLLEAGUES TOOK SOME UMBRAGE WITH YOUR OPENING STATEMENT, BUT I THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CAN BE FORGIVEN IF THEY HAVE THE SAME IMPRESSION, LISTENING TO SOME OF THE STATEMENTS OF MY COLLEAGUES DURING THIS HEARING THAT RUSSIA DIDN’T INTERVENE IN OUR ELECTION, IT WAS ALL THE UKRAINIANS. THERE HAS BEEN AN EFFORT TO TAKE A TWEET HERE AND OP-ED THERE AND NEWSPAPER STORY HERE AND SOMEHOW EQUATE IT WITH THE SYSTEMIC INTERVENTION THAT OUR INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES FOUND THAT RUSSIA PERPETRATED IN 2016 THROUGH AN EXTENSIVE SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN AND A HACKING AND DUMPING OPERATION. INDEED, THE REPORT MY COLLEAGUES GAVE YOU THAT THEY PRODUCED DURING THE INVESTIGATION CALLS INTO QUESTION THE ACCURACY OF INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE’S FINDING THAT RUSSIA INTERVENED TO HELP ONE SIDE, TO HELP DONALD TRUMP AT THE EXPENSE OF HILLARY CLINTON. NO ONE IN INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY QUESTIONS THAT FINDING. NOR DOES THE FBI, NOR DOES THE SENATE, BIPARTISAN, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE REPORT, THE MINORITY COMMITTEE REPORT OF THIS COMMITTEE, THE HOUSE REPUBLICAN REPORT IS AN OUTLIER. BUT LET ME ASK YOU, DR. HILL, ABOUT YOUR CONCERN WITH THAT RUSSIAN NARRATIVE THAT WASN’T THE RUSSIANS THAT ENGAGED IN INTERFERING IN THE ELECTION IN 2016, AND, OF COURSE, THIS WAS GIVEN A BOOST WHEN PRESIDENT TRUMP HELSINKI AND THE PRESIDENT QUESTIONED HIS OWN INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES, BUT WHY ARE THE RUSSIANS PUSHING THAT NARRATIVE?
Added November 26, 2019
Read this essay by Ray McGovern via ConsortiumNews.com