Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

A Multi-Front War

The Corner
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by Victor Davis Hanson// National Review
The House Intelligence Committee fights, the Susan Rice revelations, the stale Russian collusion story, the Gorsuch battle, the Bannon battles, the end of the filibuster, etc. are all different fronts of the same existential struggle: the unlikely Trump victory is unpalatable for the Left and its dangerous ramifications for the entire progressive project must be stopped by any means necessary.
I think it was understandable (though I might disagree with that decision) — after acting on whistleblower information and bringing the non-Russian-related intercepts, unmasking, and leaking to the attention of the committee and the country that otherwise likely would never have seen the light of day — that Chairman Devin Nunes both stays on as chair on the Intelligence Committee, but like Jeff Sessions in the matter of the Justice Department, temporarily recuses himself from directly investigating the various charges. In this entire hysteria, Nunes has acted ethically and was done an injustice by those who acted unethically and who will now only be emboldened.
The opposition is still desperately trying to make messengers and process the messages rather than the facts, and for obvious reasons — and they will never forgive Nunes for bringing to light the information from whistleblowers that has proven explosive and changed the entire course of the investigations. Representative Schiff, who has stated without evidence that he has seen information that warrants a grand-jury investigation about Russian collusion, and then has not followed up on those explosive charges, should do likewise in recusing himself from the Russian collusion/improper intercepting and leaking investigations.
At some point, an outside body may have to come in. Special prosecutors are an anathema, given their sordid history of overreach and politicization, but this entire scandal in the public mind is becoming a binary narrative of Russian collusion vs. improper intercepts/unmasking/leaking, with the two sides aligned accordingly — a replay of FBI Director Comey’s politicized schizophrenia of last year predicated on the campaign cycle, which finally led to the fate of Hillary Clinton’s improper behavior being settled politically rather than legally.
Which story then is likely to gain traction — Russian collusion, improper surveillance/illegal leaking, both, or neither?
So far an enormous amount of media attention and investigations about direct Russian collusion with Trump have found no evidence, but for now very little attention has been given to improper unmasking of surveillance and leaking, and yet has already far more credibility — given the strange contradictory statements of Susan Rice, the reported data on unmasking, the expansion of access to intercepts, and the stranger behavior of journalists at the New York Times, Washington Post, and major media who must have been relying on classified information illegally leaked to them for months to advance a narrative that was deemed advantageous for both the Obama administration and sympathetic media but otherwise never caught on because it was unproven.
After the Lawrence Walsh and Patrick Fitzgerald abuses, Republicans are certainly right to resist an outside investigator, but they might discover that ironically their Democrat opponents privately oppose a third-party investigation in fact even more than Republicans do in theory — and for obvious reasons that, if done professionally, the results will not be welcome.

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About victorhanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture. He recently published an historical novel The End of Sparta (2012), a realistic retelling of Epaminondas invasion and liberation of Spartan-control Messenia. In The Father of Us All (2011), he collected earlier essays on warfare ancient and modern. His upcoming history The Savior Generals(2013) analyzes how five generals in the history of the West changed the course of battles against all odds. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 and the Bradley Prize in 2008. Hanson, who was the fifth successive generation to live in the same house on his family’s farm, was a full-time orchard and vineyard grower from 1980-1984, before joining the nearby CSU Fresno campus in 1984 to initiate a classical languages program. In 1991, he was awarded an American Philological Association Excellence in Teaching Award, which is given yearly to the country’s top undergraduate teachers of Greek and Latin. Hanson has been a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California (1992-93), a visiting professor of classics at Stanford University (1991-92), a recipient of the Eric Breindel Award for opinion journalism (2002), an Alexander Onassis Fellow (2001), and was named alumnus of the year of the University of California, Santa Cruz (2002). He was also the visiting Shifrin Professor of Military History at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland (2002-3). He received the Manhattan Institute’s Wriston Lectureship in 2004, and the 2006 Nimitz Lectureship in Military History at UC Berkeley in 2006. Hanson is the author of hundreds of articles, book reviews, scholarly papers, and newspaper editorials on matters ranging from ancient Greek, agrarian and military history to foreign affairs, domestic politics, and contemporary culture. He has written or edited 17 books, including Warfare and Agriculture in Classical Greece (1983; paperback ed. University of California Press, 1998); The Western Way of War (Alfred Knopf, 1989; 2d paperback ed. University of California Press, 2000); Hoplites: The Ancient Greek Battle Experience (Routledge, 1991; paperback., 1992); The Other Greeks: The Family Farm and the Agrarian Roots of Western Civilization(Free Press, 1995; 2nd paperback ed., University of California Press, 2000);Fields without Dreams: Defending the Agrarian Idea (Free Press, 1996; paperback, Touchstone, 1997; The Bay Area Book reviewers Non-fiction winner for 1996); The Land Was Everything: Letters from an American Farmer (Free Press, 2000; a Los Angeles Times Notable book of the year); The Wars of the Ancient Greeks (Cassell, 1999; paperback, 2001); The Soul of Battle (Free Press, 1999, paperback, Anchor/Vintage, 2000); Carnage and Culture (Doubleday, 2001; Anchor/Vintage, 2002; a New York Times bestseller); An Autumn of War (Anchor/Vintage, 2002); Mexifornia: A State of Becoming (Encounter, 2003),Ripples of Battle (Doubleday, 2003), and Between War and Peace (Random House, 2004). A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War, was published by Random House in October 2005. It was named one of the New York Times Notable 100 Books of 2006. Hanson coauthored, with John Heath, Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom (Free Press, 1998; paperback, Encounter Press, 2000); with Bruce Thornton and John Heath, Bonfire of the Humanities (ISI Books, 2001); and with Heather MacDonald, and Steven Malanga, The Immigration Solution: A Better Plan Than Today’s (Ivan Dee 2007). He edited a collection of essays on ancient warfare, Makers of Ancient Strategy (Princeton University Press, 2010). Hanson has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, International Herald Tribune, New York Post, National Review, Washington Times, Commentary, The Washington Post, Claremont Review of Books, American Heritage, New Criterion, Policy Review, Wilson Quarterly, Weekly Standard, Daily Telegraph, and has been interviewed often on National Public Radio, PBS Newshour, Fox News, CNN, and C-Span’s Book TV and In-Depth. He serves on the editorial board of the Military History Quarterly, and City Journal. Since 2001, Hanson has written a weekly column for National Review Online, and in 2004, began his weekly syndicated column for Tribune Media Services. In 2006, he also began thrice-weekly blog for Pajamas Media, Works and Days. Hanson was educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz (BA, Classics, 1975, ‘highest honors’ Classics, ‘college honors’, Cowell College), the American School of Classical Studies, Athens (regular member, 1978-79) and received his Ph.D. in Classics from Stanford University in 1980. He divides his time between his forty-acre tree and vine farm near Selma, California, where he was born in 1953, and the Stanford campus.

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