Loch Ness and the Quest for Collusion

by John F. Di Leo

November 9, 2018 A.D.

I believe in the Loch Ness Monster.

Now, that’s not to say that I think I know what it is. It might be a family of ancient plesiosaurs that survived the dinosaur extinction, or it might be a water serpent of some kind, or it might be some other rare critter that doesn’t exist anywhere else (or at least, hasn’t been spotted anywhere else). I haven’t the foggiest, and I don’t care. I’m just sure there’s something there – something – or somethings – seen and reported there on occasion, ever since the days of St Columba, a millenium and a half ago.

Similarly, there are people in Asia who believe there is an abominable snowman known as a Yeti. Lots of people are sure of it, though they’ve never been able to prove its existence.

And right here in North America, there are plenty of people who believe there is a similar rare creature known as Bigfoot. Maybe it’s the same guy as the Yeti, and he travels by quantum mechanics, bouncing back and forth across the Pacific like an electron. Beats me.

The point is, as hard as it is to prove a positive, it’s even harder to prove a negative. So even though nobody has yet been able to provide the necessary amount of proof required to convince the world’s unbelievers that Nessie, Yeti, and Bigfoot really do exist… it’s not at all possible to prove that they don’t.Now, as I admitted at the outset, I believe in Nessie.  If we can’t provide pictures, no problem; I’ll just assume that Nessie is really good at hiding (Loch Ness IS very deep, you know, 755 feet, in fact, at its deepest)… and you’ll never convince me otherwise.

Does any of this affect the rest of you? Of course not.

As long as the people hunting for Nessie, Bigfoot and Yeti are all funding their expeditions out of their own pockets, and not trying to make YOU pay for it through your tax dollars, who cares if they keep looking? I may think it’s a big waste of somebody’s money to go hunting all over the Rockies for Bigfoot, but it’s not my money, so I don’t care enough to fight about it, and as long as they’re not in my way as a tourist, it’s none of my business. Let the Bigfoot-hunters keep running around the Rockies with their fancy cameras all they want. They’ll never find him, but they’ll have fun, and I guess, they’re getting exercise. So that’s something.

There are also some people who believe there was collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and certain corrupt Russian interests – collusion being the act of collaboration in the commission of a crime.

Now, nobody’s ever said what kind of a crime they think occurred. They just keep on screaming that it happened… and they keep on hiring dozens of expensive Washington DC lawyers to investigate it… and they keep appearing on television to chant how many criminals they’ve caught already.

None of the people that the Mueller investigation has caught in their net was actually convicted for 2016 election collusion offenses. They’re getting people on having acted as a lobbyist without filing the right paperwork, or for a tax violation or two, and probably a couple of parking tickets and overdue library books, for all I know.

But they haven’t found anything to indicate illegal election-related collaboration between the Trump campaign and a foreign power… even after two years, tons of money, and tons of work searching for it.  They haven’t found a thing. They’ve put an army of investigators on the job, and haven’t found a whit of the collusion they created the special committee to find.

But they sure are proud of the undeclared lobbyist discovery from a decade before the campaign, and they’re pleased as punch about the tax things, also long before the campaign, and there’s always a bunch of admissions of the tried-and-true crime of “making false statements to the FBI,” none of which had anything to do with Donald Trump or his presidential race.

In the search for an appropriate analogy, let’s return to our friend, the Loch Ness Monster.

Let’s say there’s an expedition that raises the money from private donors to fill a couple of fishing boats with scientists and fancy equipment, and they spend a year sailing up and down Loch Ness (the biggest lake in Scotland, you know), taking pictures and using sonar, all in an effort to try to find this elusive old critter.

After a year of this, they proudly announce that in their travels around the lake, they caught twenty nets full of brook lamprey, thirty nets full of sea trout, a dozen nets full of European eel, and forty nets of three-spined stickleback.

Quite an impressive haul for a bunch of scientists sailing over murky water. Impressive enough, they hope, to distract you from the fact that they never actually managed to find the monster.

These scientists may have accomplished quite a great deal in that year; they probably ate very well, in fact, as they cooked up these delicious fish, between blind alleys, empty sonar readings and wasted film.

But it doesn’t really matter, does it?  You and I aren’t financing that Loch Ness expedition. They aren’t wasting our time and money, or distracting our government, or ruining people’s lives in the process, so it’s unimportant to us.   It simply isn’t a critical issue of public policy in America, if a bunch of stubborn scientists – spending their own money – want to waste their time sailing around a Scottish lake, looking for nothing.

It’s another matter entirely, over here on this side of The Pond.

The Mueller investigation is wasting our tax dollars. It’s distracting the FBI from its real duties. It’s desperately hunting for minor crimes to pin on people in and around the Trump campaign, just so they can show that they’re doing something, and so they can proudly trumpet the many indictments they’ve managed to come up with.

But it has now been distracting not just for the FBI but the entire country as well, for two full years.  Unimportant stories about the Mueller investigation have been pushing real stories about real news off the front page… for two full years.

No matter what’s really going on in Washington DC, the latest empty report of some jaywalking campaign aide pushes its way into the headlines that ought to have been reserved for much harder news.
 
It is time to cut bait. Two years, dozens of lawyers, and an entire press corps, all hunting for collusion, haven’t found any.
 
The US government, and the US taxpayer who funds it, have better things to do.
 
It’s time to declare an end to this drain on the nation. It’s time for the new Attorney General to shut it down.
 
copyright 2018 John F Di Leo
 
John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based Customs broker and trade compliance trainer. He writes regularly in Illinois Review, performs occasionally on community theater stages around Chicagoland, and has never actually seen Nessie close up…
 
…but he believes, nevertheless.

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