Between the lines of the Mueller Report
The relationship between the law and politics is once again the subject of oceans of ink — and their electronic equivalents in this digital age — as the Mueller Report is being analyzed, down to the last comma, by people who have not read it and are not allowed to read it.
It has been hyped as the biggest legal challenge yet to the Trump administration. The whole country is presumed to have been breathlessly awaiting its release — which has still not happened and may never happen.
All that has come out into the open so far is a brief summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, written by Attorney General Bill Barr. He says that Mueller’s investigation “did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.”
Barr had to add that while the “report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
An ‘impartial’ FBI?
It should be remembered that both Mueller and Barr were appointed to their jobs by Trump. The FBI, which Mueller headed for 12 years, has a long history of repressing unionists, progressives and immigrants, beginning with the Palmer Raids of the 1920s.
The FBI spied on and worked to destroy Black leaders from Marcus Garvey to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Huey Newton. It fed Sen. Joseph McCarthy the information to point a finger at socialists and communists and get them fired from their jobs in the 1950s. It tried to bring down the American Indian Movement with baseless charges.
The FBI also targeted Palestinian professor Edward Said, “various AIDS advocacy and gay rights groups like ACT UP and the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights, and the Committee in Solidarity With the People of El Salvador.” (“The FBI Is Not Your Friend,” Jacobin, May 13, 2017)
There is much discussion that the Mueller Report will now become the focus of a huge struggle in Congress.
Really? Is this report more important than all the other crimes of the Trump administration?
What about U.S. attacks on Venezuela? Or support for Israel?
How ironic this issue of a foreign country influencing U.S. elections should provoke such indignation. At the very same time, the U.S. government has openly dismissed Venezuela’s elections, anointed a little-known politician there as “president” of that country and is attempting a coup there! Where is the outcry over that?
Many in the capitalist media have reported on how the Trump administration is trying to help get the far-right Israeli politician Benjamin Netanyahu re-elected by moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Israel’s seizure of the Golan Heights from Syria.
Haaretz, a liberal Israeli newspaper, writes that the Mueller Report helps “Trump’s shameless campaign to anoint Netanyahu as the American government’s clear preference in the upcoming Knesset election.” Under Netanyahu, hundreds of unarmed Palestinians protesting the unbearable conditions in Gaza have been shot and killed by Israeli troops.
But there are no headlines here about how the U.S. “influences” elections all over the globe.
What about climate change?
This administration has shocked the world by axing what little had been done in the U.S. to curb greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment. Fossil fuel conglomerates are ecstatic while climate change destroys lives all over the planet. Compare all the articles circulating on the Mueller Report with barely a mention of the floods currently devastating the Midwest and the extremely intense storms from Norway to Bangladesh to the eastern coast of Africa.
Suicides are rising dramatically in the U.S. as young workers are trapped in the gig economy with no income security, even as rents soar and millionaires become billionaires. No blaring headlines or demands for congressional investigations on that.
All the hoopla about the Mueller Report is a distraction from the real problems facing the workers of this country.
Moreover, the focus on the report covers up a basically undemocratic system.
Trump lost the election by 3 million votes. That didn’t stop him from winning the presidency, however. He won not because of Russia, but because of the highly undemocratic way in which the Electoral College is structured.
Then there are the millions of dollars spent by both Democrats and Republicans on political advertising with little restrictions. This, with a few exceptions, guarantees victory for the candidates with the biggest money behind them.
While progressives may use elections as a platform to bring their message to a wider audience, the electoral arena is tailor-made to perpetuate the rule of the capitalist monopolies.
The battle over the Mueller Report will undoubtedly dominate the headlines of the capitalist media for a long time, but it must not distract from the real struggle — in the streets, on the picket lines, in the nitty-gritty organizing that goes on everyday to end exploitation, union busting, racism, misogyny, anti-LGBTQ2S bigotry, xenophobia, attacks on Muslims and the oppression of im/migrants.