Archive for Spy stuff

This is big

Posted in For Free Trade, For God with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2017 by cavalier973

The Washington Post is reporting that President Trump revealed highly classified intelligence to the foreign minister of Russia last week during a meeting. The story details that intelligence that had been gathered by a U.S. “partner” concerning terrorist activity by ISIS was revealed by Trump. A very concerning story; the U.S. and Russia agree that ISIS needs to be defeated, but they differ with regard to President Assad of Syria. Russia likes him, the U.S. doesn’t. If the intelligence results in Russian spies setting up U.S. spies to be killed (or if they kill the Americans directly), then Benghazi can no longer be a talking point for Trump supporters, at the very least.

It is entirely believable (to me, at least) that, in order to impress someone, President Trump shows off his knowledge. The question I have is, “Did he really do that?”

The WaPo story relies exclusively on unnamed sources. Officials. Senior Officials. Former Officials. They all knew what went on during that meeting. They are all horrified and concerned.

What I’d like to know is: who are these officials?

There is one official named in the story: H.R. McMaster, the national security advisor. He said: “The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation.” And, “At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.”

So, the only person that we can track down to verify his testimony said that there was no problem. Maybe he’s just a lying liar. Maybe all of them are lying liars.

This is interesting: “A Russian photographer took photos of part of the session that were released by the Russian state-owned Tass news agency. No U.S. news organization was allowed to attend any part of the meeting.” That’s a curious decision for President Trump to make: let the Russian media in, but not the American media.

This sounds like a Dilbert Cartoon: “U.S. officials said that the National Security Council continues to prepare multi-page briefings for Trump to guide him through conversations with foreign leaders, but that he has insisted that the guidance be distilled to a single page of bullet points — and often ignores those.”

Another thought: if this story is true, it doesn’t mean that President Trump did anything illegal. As President, he can declassify intelligence at his discretion. From the article: “For almost anyone in government, discussing such matters with an adversary would be illegal.” Well, we aren’t exactly in a war with Russia (either hot or cold). It doesn’t mean that what he did is a good idea. If it is discovered that he does have ties to Russia, then there is a case to be made that his actions border on Treason, even.

It will be interesting to see if this story sticks. If more members of the press jump in, with some actual named sources, then President Trump is in serious trouble.