The Invisible Thread

September 25, 2019 Updated: September 25, 2019

Commentary

I have suddenly realized that my early summer appearance on Sean Hannity’s radio show makes a nice bookend to a short passage I find in Andy McCarthy’s late-summer release, “Ball of Collusion.”

My three-way radio conversation with Hannity and Gregg Jarrett demonstrated what I have found to be a perplexing dynamic in Trump–Russia narratives; namely, an ever-present force field against the notion, even the evidence (as laid out in my book “The Red Thread”) that the intellectual history of the anti-Trump conspirators, from James Comey to Nellie Ohr, from John Brennan to Christopher Steele, and on and on, reveals open affinities for Marxist ideology—clear connections to communist movements and activities—which bind them all together in a skein of “red threads.”

The preferred consensus—ideology-free—is succinctly expressed in the Hannity interview by Jarrett, who, in answer to the question that guided my research (what motivated these top Washington officials to risk all in their lawless efforts to stop Trump?), stated that their motivation was personal, visceral, job-related. Had I one more soundbite, I think I would have replied that none of these assuredly plausible motivations cuts the conspirators’ troubling ties with what old Soviet agitprop called “the socialist camp.”

I plan to read the McCarthy book. We write about the same events, but it seems we regard them with very different eyes. What I unravel in “The Red Thread” as an ideologically motivated conspiracy by subverters (if not “occupiers”) of our constitutional republic against a strongly—yes, viscerally—anti-communist president, McCarthy defines as a more conventional if “scandalous abuse of power” by the Obama administration.

He writes:

“Invocations of the deep state by Trump votaries are overkill. … This was a scandalous abuse of power. That’s bad enough. There is no need to hyperbolize what happened into a deep state coup, or trivialize what life in an authoritarian society with a real deep state is like.”

What actually drew me to mention the McCarthy book, however, and what twins it with my Hannity interview, is a short passage whose endnote mentions my own earliest investigation into the red thread through the anti-Trump conspiracy.

This essay, “Nellie Ohr: Woman in the Middle,” appeared in The American Spectator in early 2018. It includes an extensive analysis of a school of academic “revisionism,” with origins in KGB disinformation as promulgated by so-called New Leftists and Marxists, which had successfully captured much of the American academy by the 1980s when Nellie Ohr was a Soviet history student at Harvard; indeed, her mentors are prominent in this same revisionist school.

The American Spectator essay also features a series of perfectly blood-curdling quotations from Ohr’s published writings, which reveal her own affinity, not for some theoretical abstractions of Marxism, but for what she has called, for example, “the terror and excitement” of the Stalin era, or “the agonizing paradoxes of the Stalinist state, one which was building a legal structure, yet tortured and executed innocent citizens.” It also includes an excerpt from Ohr’s doctorate thesis on the aftermath of Stalin’s forced collectivization of agriculture.

Ohr styles this period following the Ukraine Terror Famine, Stalin’s state-engineered famine that killed in excess of 6 million people, as “the stabilization of the kolkhoz [collective farming] order.”

“Excesses,” she writes (mass starvation? mass deportations?) “sometimes represented desperate measures taken by a government that had little real control over the country,” while “policies such as dekulakization and the purges of the later 1930s had some social constituency among aggrieved groups.”

More: “The purges represented to some degree a center-periphery conflict in which the ‘state-building’ central government tried to bring headstrong local satraps under control.”

All of which is to say, as Ohr does in her own academic language, in order to make that exciting Stalinist omelette, you have to break a few million eggs. Welcome to the “red” anti-Trump conspiracy.

This research into Ohr’s academic work was for me an unexpected education. Having found this one thread, I wondered if there might be more to unravel among Ohr’s anti-Trump comrades. The results, to date, make up the rest of “The Red Thread: A Search for Ideological Drivers Inside the Anti-Trump Conspiracy.”

Which brings me to the passage I have flagged in “Ball of Collusion.”

About Ohr, McCarthy writes:

“She graduated from Harvard in 1983 with a degree in history and Russian literature, studied in Russia in the late eighties (shortly before the U.S.S.R. fell), earned a doctorate in Russian history at Stanford in 1990, and taught Russian history at Vassar. She was also a staunch Hillary Clinton supporter.”

The endnote reads:

“Nellie Ohr, House Judiciary and Oversight Committees Testimony (Oct. 19, 2018) p. 105. See also Diana West, Nellie Ohr: Woman in the Middle (American Spectator, Feb., 22, 2018).”

Sincerely, I can’t imagine why. When it comes to the punditry, the anti-Trump thread, no matter how red, simply must remain invisible.

Diana West is an award-winning journalist and author, whose latest book is “The Red Thread: A Search for Ideological Drivers Inside the Anti-Trump Conspiracy.”

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.