Webster’s Dictionary defines the term deja vu as “a feeling that one has seen or heard something before.” These past few weeks I have experienced that feeling, in a most unpleasant way.
Back in 1975, I was a young naval officer. The nation had endured a gut-wrenching war that tore the country apart. At the time, I supported what I thought was a just war. Later, I became disillusioned, having learned that President Johnson had fabricated the Tonkin Gulf incident as a pretense for our entry into Vietnam.
After Vietnam, many Americans began to distrust our government and question authority. As a result of our self-loathing and distrust of the government and its agencies, America underwent a long period of self-examination and groveling atonement in an attempt to right its previous wrongs.
One of these efforts was the “U.S. Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities.” Officially, this select Senate committee was formed in 1975 and investigated abuses by the CIA, National Security Agency, FBI and IRS. It was informally known as the “Church Commission” after Sen. Frank Church, the lead Democrat representing Idaho.
So why am I feeling deja vu for an event that occurred almost 50 years ago? It is because of the continuous attempts orchestrated by the Democratic Party over the past last three years to weaken or to remove President Trump, mostly by unlawful means and outright deception. We can now compare the sworn testimony of the disgraced Director of National Intelligence Clapper and CIA Director Brennan, among others, against what they explicitly stated in numerous televised interviews. Not even their handpicked special prosecutor found any trace of “collusion,” nor the slightest indication that President Trump was a “Russian agent.”
That Obama and Biden perverted our own intelligence and law enforcement agencies to spy on American citizens for political gain is shameful -- every American regardless of political party should be appalled. Their relentless prosecution and subsequent “unmasking” of Flynn -- who joined the Army to “fight Russia” and dedicated 33 years of his life to a stellar career of military service -- should alarm every American citizen. I surmise that it was no accident that the day after VP Biden requested that Flynn be unmasked, his name appeared in the Washington Post.
The U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, created to combat external Islamic terrorism, was routinely abused by the FBI, which knowingly broadcast the false information contained in the almost completely fictional “Steele dossier” provided to them by the Clinton campaign.
Yes, the Church Commission took place in another era. But the words of its chairman still echo what we have experienced for the last three years. Again, those we trust to keep us free have instead wrongly used and ignored the restraints of the Constitution. As Church stated in 1975, “… each time the means we use are wrong, our inner strength, the strength which makes us free, is lessened."
James Poplar lives in Quicksburg.