Tuesday, May 16, 2017
McMaster Shows Himself Another Puppet By Denying, Spinning Trump's Latest Intel Transgression
Trump divulged highly classified intel to Lavrov (L) and Kislyak last week.
"We can't have someone in the Oval Office who doesn't understand the words 'confidential' or 'classified'." - Donald Trump in campaign speech last year, in regard to Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information on a private server.
The banner headline for The Washington Post story released last night read:
'Trump Revealed Highly Classified Information To Russian Diplomats'
Ought to send chills down the spines of all true American patriots, not the paper type who wave their little flags, chant "USA! USA!" but can't even recite three of the Bill of Rights, or name the branches of government - but the real patriots. That is, those who know their leaders are not laws unto themselves and must be held to account.
The lead story in the Post reported on Monday that Trump shared details of intelligence gathered about an Isis threat that had been closely guarded within the United States government and among close US allies. The report stated that while Trump did not describe the specific sources or methods used to gather the intelligence, he provided highly classified details, apparently connected to an Isis plot related to the use of laptops on board passenger aircraft.
Naturally the lying, spinning Trump did not take kindly to these revelations and so dispatched his pressured toadies to try to spin them all the way (at the same time it was reported that Sean Spicer, Sara Huckabee Sanders and Steve Bannon went on a screaming binge in one room as the TVs played the snafu over and over.)
Then there was none other than the new head of the NSC, H.R. McMaster, who we all expected to be the "adult in the room" keeping the POTUS steady on his daily political 'potty' training. But once again, that fell through, the evidence being H.R. had to go out in front of the press and channel Sara "Huckster" Sanders, morphing into yet another coverup spinner of misinformation. In his blustering denial McMaster blathered:
"The story that came out tonight as reported is false.... At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly,..”
But this was not the point and McMaster damned well knows it. The point was in Trump failing to adhere to specific talking points (always prepared before contact with foreign diplomats) and going off script, blabbering, bragging about the intel he gets then divulging classified information. This did not concern sources and methods, which the WaPo article clearly pointed out. But that doesn't matter, the information embodied critical intelligence. The Russians are smart enough to be able to 'reverse engineer' what was given them to ascertain the location of the source and likely the identity of the "code word source".
McMaster obfuscating and spinning last night. He's no longer the "adult" in the room but another sycophant and stooge.
McMaster then, by his willing duplicity, made Arlen Specter of 'Magic Bullet' Warren Commission fame look the very picture of decorum and probity by comparison. While Specter tried to feed us the bunkum that one bullet made 7 wounds and escaped virtually unscathed, McMaster tried to feed us the 'Magic Intel' bunkum. That is, POTUS-leaked intel information prepared by an ally (and not to be disclosed without said ally's consent) was not a real misfire at all, and will cause no lasting damage.
Why such a big deal? Because Trump, in a spasm of boastful egomania, blabbed what was classified beyond even Top Secret, e.g. (SCI or 'secret compartmentalized information') via an information-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government. This according to current and former U.S. intelligence officials, specifically that what Trump did was violate a sharing agreement with a key ally. As Ned Price, former CIA analyst pointed out in an interview last night:
"There is a core assumption that undergirds our intelligence the world over. This includes our sharing relationships with friends, allies and even at times with adversaries. And that is, we will share with you if you will share with us, with a reciprocal understanding that we will safeguard each other's information. And there is not to be onward passage of that information without explicit consent of the country that gave us that information. So, if the details reported are true, President Trump betrayed that core premise under which all our intelligence are forged.....This will infuriate the ally that gave us the information but a much greater threat is that countries around the world will think more than once about sharing information with us."
Former CIA deputy director Mike Morrell also pointed out this morning (CBS) that Trump's disclosure puts the source at risk if the Russians are able to figure out who it is. Morrell also pointed out it was McMaster's job to get Trump to pay attention to the nature of critical intelligence (in his prep briefing book) and what may be disclosed in contacts with foreign agents or personae and what cannot. Morrell was even more direct in terms of Trump's first words of boasting on the intel: "Once the President started going down this road it was H.R. McMaster's responsibility to redirect the conversation."
All of which portrays an eye-popping Trumpian transgression even for mealy mouthed sycophants like McMaster or Rex Tillerson to try and spin - who may insist Trump (as President) had the "right" to do it. But no executive order delivers such right, since as I noted previously, executive orders aren't provided for under the constitution. Oh, and no President is himself above the law, meaning above the oath by which he swore to defend the Constitution.
What makes it even more scandalous, is that this latest Trump fuck up -the only appropriate word to use- is about the fourth in a week. This includes firing James Comey and threatening him with release of "tapes" - means intelligence gathering allies will be even less likely now to share highly critical information with us. Why would they when we have such a jackass, blabbering resident, and also howling dog puppets to try to cover his tracks - none of whom can evidently be trusted. As the WaPo report noted:
"The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said Trump’s decision to do so endangers cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State."
I mean imagine the implications here! This dumbass fool who promised to get rid of Isis during his campaign actually divulges classified content that could have assisted in ultimately (with allies' cooperation) bringing them down. The same bombastic birdbrain yelped constantly during the '16 campaign that "no one should be in the Oval Office who doesn't understand the words 'confidential' or 'classified'."
Imagine then what would have happened to Hillary had she been President and blabbed such confidential material to foreign actors and especially those deemed to be high level adversaries. Hell, the hearings that would have ensued would have made Benghazi look like a Disney cartoon, plus the articles of impeachment would already be getting drafted.
Of course, none of this may matter in the long run because right now Trump regards himself as "the law" and so do his puppets. Just two days ago, UN ambassador Nikki Haley opining on the Comey firing asserted without a blush: "He is the CEO of the country. He can fire anyone he wishes!" Yeah, well Nikki, first let me inform you that we have no "CEOs" running the nation. We have Presidents who preside at the behest and will of the PEOPLE not the other way around. Also, our nation is not a goddamned corporation based on a corporate charter, but a federal union of states operating under a Constitution. And just because Trump thinks he can "fire anyone he wants" doesn't mean it's necessarily "constitutional" if done for nefarious motives, say to snuff an investigation.
For almost anyone in government, discussing such matters with an adversary would be illegal, and as one commentator put it last night - if Trump were an ordinary citizen he'd be tried for treason. But as our "President" Trump automatically was granted a (temporary) 'get out of jail free' card his sycophants think they can twist facts any which way they want. . Thus, the latter insist that by occupying said office Trump has broad authority to declassify government secrets, making it unlikely that his disclosures broke the law.
Let me rephrase that for better perspective: Trump can impulsively blab away specialized classified content (SCI) to foreign adversaries, realize later what he did was unlawful or treason - then, invoking his office, retroactively "declassify" the SCI already divulged. Neat trick, eh?
Cutting through all the discharged crap and spin, here's the central point that bears emphasis as numerous talking heads attempt to dilute or diminish Trump's latest transgression: According to U.S. Intelligence sources, Trump actually revealed the city in Islamic state held territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat. As Morrell said this morning, this level of specificity is "what the Russians will go to school on" i.e. to find out more. That source then is now imperiled as well its ongoing intel, because a blabbermouth blowhard without the slightest sense of propriety saw fit to divulge intelligence to a foreign adversary. At the very least, this reckless moron needs to be impeached, and as soon as possible. He is a liability to the nation, to its intelligence services and to all our global partners invested in securing a better world.
See also this link which suggests he may have to be removed for his own good under the 25th amendment:
“I'm not saying that Donald Trump has dementia,” Joe Scarborough said during a recent segment on Trump’s mental state, “but my mother has dementia. She lives in the moment. She forgets what she said a day ago, a week ago. We can't have presidents that do that."