The X-Files is back on TV, as you may have heard. Before they came out of hibernation last year in the wake of the Trump election, our intrepid FBI agents were last seen on the tube in 2002, chasing their ghosts and aliens. George W. Bush had just taken office, and the creepy Deep State at the center of the series was still just a paranoid dream. The tinfoil hat ethos of the show now seems kind of quaint and cozy, what with the Snowden revelations and the Patriot Act and the anti-democratically secret FISA court and Trump's ravings about aliens hiding under every bed and scaling every imaginary wall.
And how the tables have turned. The ultra-right wing of the Uniparty has suddenly has gone all renegade ACLU and demanded that our civil rights to due process and privacy be protected. Sure, the GOP just cares about the rights of Boss Trump, and not even remotely about ours. But once they open their cynical can of worms via the so-called Nunes Memo, who knows what unintended good consequences might ensue?
House Republicans will apparently use the so-called Rule X to release their doctored version of the X-Files, whereupon the "apolitical" FBI will be forced to defend itself, and so on, and ad infinitum, while the Democrats flail and wail and as much as admit that they are powerless hacks in thrall to the Military-Industrial Complex.
As Jonathan Turley writes about the obscure Rule X,
Indeed, the rule has come to mean the very opposite of its language. Subsection 11(g) has never been used in countless conflicts with intelligence agencies which simply refused to declassify information. That lack of use of has reaffirmed the widely held view of congressional committees being “captured” by the agencies they are supposed to oversee. The intelligence committees have a steady revolving door of staff between Congress and the agencies. Moreover, members often use closed sessions to remove embarrassing conflicts or scandals from the public view.Bring it on. Just because The Groundhog retreated back to hibernation doesn't mean that we have to. If he saw his shadow, at least that means that there is still some sunlight out there. It's high time that Rule X was used for the purpose for which it was intended and not as a convenient P.R. fig leaf to disguise the fact that our government's boastful version of "transparency" has long meant its exact opposite.
This is why the vote on Jan. 18 to activate Subsection 11(g) was accompanied by a virtual “Wilhelm scream” heard from Capitol Hill to Langley to Quantico. The “Man From Rule X” may be a somewhat flawed character, as to his motivations in taking this step. However, regardless of the content of the memo, the act of defiance under this rule has been too long in coming.
So who knows? As much as the gospel of trickle-down prosperity sold by the right wing Uniparty is a complete sham, the idea of trickle-down transparency is yet to be tested. The truth is out there, somewhere.
|Wake Me When It's Over|
*Update: The memo is now officially Out There.
It wasn't read into the Congressional Record via Rule X after all, but simply declassified by the White House for immediate release. Nobody upstages Trump. But at least the truth that there is a Rule X, and that the congressional intelligence flacks can release whatever they want as long as it's during an open session is now Out There.
How the memo itself relates to and/or avoids the whole or actual truth is yet to be determined, given that this is still very much an intra-establishment political battle in dire need of some anti-partisan outside analysis and more independent journalism. But that the discredited Steele "Golden Showers" dossier was allegedly presented to the FISA Court by the FBI without disclosing to the judge that it was paid-for private political opposition research does have the ring of truth to it. The Democratic-Surveillance State machine will be questioned and forced to defend itself in public, and these self-described Trump resistance fighters will absolutely hate being put in any kind of corner. It looks as if the phony "national security" excuse for politicians doing horrible things could be about to collapse under its own weight. Stay tuned!