An Honest Reckoning

John le Carré could hardly imagine a better scenario: a spy-for-hire—once a servant of Her Majesty’s government, now selling his services in a foreign market—takes payouts from two masters simultaneously, as both a police informant and a political dirty-tricks man.  He feeds political intelligence to the police, who use that innuendo to justify covert surveillance of an opposition leader’s advisors.  Then, when the spy-for-hire’s partisan sponsors unexpectedly lose at the ballot box, the ongoing police investigation becomes the centerpiece of a publicity campaign to undermine the newly elected government.  The people expressed their will through the constitutional process, yet remnants of the old regime refuse to accept the verdict; they fight on from within the bureaucracy or plot their return to power from outside.

It would be a good thriller, a tale of disillusionment and intrigue, a showcase of how a postcommunist or formerly autocratic state risks backsliding into repression.  Yet this is essentially the story of what has been happening in the United States over the past two years.  Thanks to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and its chairman, California Republican Devin Nunes, we now know the role the partisan interests and Clinton cash played in whipping up investigations into Trump associates and conjuring the specter of collusion between Republicans...

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