Should we be worried?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Bowser, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

    Since no charges have been levied, I'd say it was a hit job on the presidency, creating a scandal where there is none. Trump needs to clean house in the intelligence
    sculptor likes this.
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  3. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    There are a number of possible reasons why "charges" haven't been laid.

    • They have yet to determine the full extent of the security breach by Flynn and others, They are currently exploring all avenues.
    • Let is not forget that there are other more scandalous allegations yet to be revealed. Such as secret dossiers that may prove conclusively that the administration has been operating under extortion/blackmail.
    • They are determining how much Putin knows and is involved in this ( A declaration of war with Russia is a possible outcome so let's not ignore the seriousness of all this.)
    • The president should be welcoming the investigation and not attempting to hinder it.

    Why isn't Trump thanking and congratulating the FBI, CIA, NSA etc for their efforts to protect the USA?
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  5. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    Naturally you are applying this same logic to Hillary, right?
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  7. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    One thing we can be fairly certain of is that given the sheer intensity of angst, hype and discussion going on about Trumps and his administrations competency, probity and integrity that we have seen so far, one can easily conclude it is only the beginning.
    How many inquiries are going on right now into various "inappropiates,and deplorables" of the Trump administration?
    When will they release their findings?

    Some investigations take months...if not years so I wouldn't be expecting clear sailing for Trump, for this term and probably the next as well ( If he survives at all). Scandal after scandal, crime after crime etc etc...
  8. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    So is that what Republicans did to Clinton? Benghazi, her email server were hit jobs. It's good to hear a Republican to finally make that admission.

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  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Because it's difficult, and cannot be delegated for upper level jobs - for upper level jobs the boss has to do it, and the boss has to be good at it. That's a rare combination.
    How's he going to do that - fire himself, his son in law, and Steve Bannon?
    Those are the three biggest visible security risks in the current administration.
    In his campaign, which went through a similar looking phase for a while after the nomination was locked in, he settled on some folks and set up a couple of scapegoats to carry off the aura - and from then on he was the only liability his campaign had. Things other than Trump himself settled down and rolled.

    Now governing the country is not going to do that - but governing doesn't seem to be a Trump priority in the first place. If what he - and Bannon, and Jared - are actually doing benefits from this turmoil, then we aren't looking at incompetence here - we're looking at some people getting the hang of things.
  10. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Can you rephrase this. I can not work out what you are saying here.
    Are you suggesting that they are becoming competent at being sneaky and nefarious? (Via the use of confusion and turmoil)
  11. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

    So your giving him a better chance of going past 30 days?

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  12. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Yep, clean house, eg, dismiss them all. After all, he is a bigly smart person who would rather read one page reports with lots of pictures than a detailed, several pages long document...

    No point having an intelligence community when you are just going to ignore them anyway *shrug*
    joepistole likes this.
  13. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Are you sure the fact of Flynn's conversation with a Russian official is classified? No content was made public.
    We should work to improve our relations with Russia, but you don't give in to a hostile foreign power unconditionally. Russia deserves our sanctions, and our mistrust. It's their job to improve their behavior, and kick the thug Putin out of power permanently.
    In this case, yes. But I agree it's troubling that we have an entrenched government bureaucracy undermining our president's will, even if our president is an idiot. I guess there are consequences to lying your ass off 24 hours a day. And what fucking hypocrisy. Trump was in favor of leaks and hacking when it served his purposes. Now his administration is using an app for communication that deletes their messages after being read, after he made such a fuss about Hillary not using official lines of communication that could be saved for posterity (a legal requirement).
  14. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    OK Flynn is a tad too hawkish for my tastes----------but, then again, he was a general.
  15. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Additionally: (I can't get to the twitter feed directly, since it is blocked by our network at work)

    From Seth Abramson:
    ... this feels like a bad twilight zone episode at this point...
  16. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Well that makes everything better, doesn't it? He is also a disgraced general because of his loose association with the facts. Flynn's problem is that he has repeatedly politicized the facts. And unless you are Russia, Nazi Germany, or some other authoritarian regime, that's never a good thing.
  17. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    It's not done because contrary to your previous assertion it is incredibly inefficient and expensive.
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    better never | file future

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    How many obvious jokes can we write, because in truth it's probably not funny:

    The Obama administration aggressively investigated and prosecuted leakers and whistleblowers, too. As Leonard Downie Jr. recently put it↱, President Barack Obama's war on leaks was "the most aggressive I've seen since the Nixon administration." And as Glenn Greenwald argues↱, there is an enormous amount of hypocrisy afoot in Washington around leakers―many decried leaking as a heinous crime when it happened under Obama, yet are now celebrating it under Trump.

    But it's nonetheless important to pinpoint exactly what is noteworthy about what Trump is doing here. Trump is calling for an investigation into seemingly illegal leaking, but he's doing more than this. He's calling for an investigation into leakers and whistleblowers who are undermining Trump himself. Such investigations presumably could lead to prosecutions.

    Matthew Miller, a former Justice Department spokesman during the Obama years, argues that there is a fundamental difference between what the Obama administration did and what Trump is now doing. He emailed:

    Though they are controversial, there is a place for leak investigations into disclosures that harm national security and serve no whistleblowing purpose. But a president asking for investigations into leaks that expose illegal or inappropriate behavior by him or his staff is something else entirely.​

    Even if one disagrees with Miller's defense of leak investigations in select situations, the underlying difference here does appear to be significant. Let's put this another way: If Trump wants to prove that this fundamental difference is not a meaningful one, he can. He can simply explain why the current round of leaks is a threat to the country, as opposed to merely a political threat to Trump himself. And then we can judge whether he's making a credible argument. Perhaps the next person who gets to interview Trump might confront him with this line of questioning.

    Indeed, in 2013, Downie↱ wrote:

    When I asked deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes about this, he said, "The president doesn't like leaks of unauthorized information that can harm national security." But not nearly all "unauthorized" or classified government information presents that danger. The Obama administration could do much more to reduce unnecessary classification. "The system is bent deeply in the direction of over-classification of information," Senator Wyden said. "If done properly to protect only genuine national security information, it would be easier to protect government secrets." He said it seemed as if classification were being used more to protect people from political embarrassment.

    "Even when acting in good faith, officials are liable to over-classify," said open government advocate Steven Aftergood. "There is no review of classification decisions."

    And now the former WaPo executive editor and present Cronkite School professor gets to see what all that really looks like.

    Or, more realistically, yeah, it seemed easy enough to complain about the Obama administration in a time when complaining was the in thing to do. It's not that there's nothing to it; rather, why oversell and hurt the cause? Except it probably didn't really seem like that much of a stretch, especially in pitching a cause the former administration purported to give a damn about.

    The contrast 'twixt then and now seems worth noting.


    Downie Jr., Leonard. "The Obama Administration and the Press". Committee to Protect Journalists. 10 October 2013. 17 February 2017.

    Greenwald, Glenn. "The Leakers Who Exposed Gen. Flynn's Lie Committed Serious―and Wholly Justified―Felonies". The Intercept. 14 February 2017. 17 February 2017.

    Sargent, Greg. "Trump just escalated his war with the intelligence community―bigly". The Plum Line. 16 February 2017. 17 February 2017.
  19. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Where is the evidence the leaked information was classified? Why would it be classified? What's the rationale for classifying it? Why would the fact that Flynn lied to the vice president be classified?

    That's like asking if there is a good reason for sending a convicted murder to jail. Yeah, there is. Would you prefer a nuclear war instead? I guarantee you a nuclear war would be much more expensive than a cold war.

    Why would a second cold war be expensive? Russia is a fraction of what it once was: economically, militarily, technologically, and in every way.

    If Russia wants to straighten out and fly right, then Russia can move back into the fold of civilized nations. But as long as it continues to menace its neighbors, invade, occupy, and annex their lands, it needs to be punished.

    The last time a European leader did what Putin has done, it led to the WW II and the deaths of 80 million people. If we learned anything from WW II we should have learned appeasement doesn't work. That's why the West has united against Russia. It doesn't want a repeat of WW II. That's why it is so important to keep the sanctions in place. Putin is following the Hitler playbook and even using the same excuses for his aggression. You should find that deeply disturbing. The world does. That's why Russia is bearing the brunt of international sanctions.

    And what the hell is the spiel about intelligence agencies instigating a coup? Which agencies and what coup?

    You've got some serious conspiracy stuff going on there comrade. What you need is a little less conspiracy and some evidence. Just what control is needed and over what covert operators, and why? If you are referring to the disclosure that Flynn lied to Pence, how do you know covert operators were involved? The leak could have been Pence himself or someone on his staff? Pence and his staffers aren't covert operators.

    What is needed is for Trump to get his act together. He needs to move past the election and get on to the hard business of governing. But I don't think he is into hard work. He only appears to be into self glorification, e.g. his eternal campaign. And he needs to begin being honest with the American people.

    But I seriously doubt he has neither the willingness or ability to do so. It's just not Trump.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
  20. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    What about a story doing the rounds on Google News that the IC is going to have Trump and some of his gang charged with treason?
    How likely is that scenario, and what does it say about how much power the NSA has (along with the rest of the IC generally)?

    In the spy world, information is king, it can be false information so I guess their job is to be able to gather real intel and have confidence that is is real. Would some ex-spook be revealing what the NSA really has in store for the so-called president, in front of the Chief Justice, since it isn't usually in their game plan? Is it more fake news?
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


    The intelligence and security apparatus has tremendous power, and could probably frame a president quite easily. Presuming career officers and agents operating appropriately in good faith, they're tied in knots right now.

    There are, for instance, reasons their allegiance to the country is seen as allegiance to a president, but Donald Trump is testing a good deal of all that.

    If they have the intel to remove Donald Trump from office, they're basically begging House Republicans to pay attention. But there is also a valence outside impeachment: Go to a president, demonstrate the security risk, the executive shields and augments the security risk.

    Within that framework there might well already be something that spells the end of the Trump administration. Even then, everything else is a Potomac Two-Step, a mystical and mysterious cross between Masonic Enochian Chess and a square dance. That is to say, there's a lot of ritual and posturing, and while, traditionally, nobody actually knows the rules of the rituals, and the real question is how bad is whatever, and how long can they wait before officially razing the etiquette of honorable men aiming to do honorable work in a town that drinks dishonor like ambrosia.

    First and foremost, the job of the intelligence community is to protect the nation and its people against threats foreign and domestic. This is a particularly outstanding context, when the context of potential threat is actually inside the White House.

    They will figure their way, and the implications will have to do with whether it's real or fake, and if, in the latter, they get caught. I mean, sure, it's possible Trump really is just that stupid and a bunch of intelligence agents are playing God and trying to settle this early by framing him as guilty, but having grown up with a complex relationship with societal institutions that keeps trust a proposition and prospect ne'er quite settled, I'm supposed to believe they're just not that corrupt. To the other, we've seen striking corruption from our institutions, before. And, to the beeblebrox, there is an arguable question of historical trends by which the basic power dynamic, save for the Russian threads, looks generally familiar. That is to say, traditional societal this and that are preparing to stomp the hell out of traditional pariahs. The idea of this particular corruption in the IC, plotting to bring down a president, is intriguing because it fits the projection of faithful patriotic servant of the people saving the nation, but also the suspicion of megalomaniacal manipulators willing to jerk the country and world around for whatever their ends might be. Knowing that the truth is somewhere in between is exactly a useless suggestion.

    There's a joke in Washington: "I have to think about future presidents ...."

    I mean, we even heard it from Obama at some point. I forget if they had a point.

    But we've heard it from every administration at least since Nixon, and it's never good news. I mean, I remember hearing it from the Obama administration and being disappointed, and I'm pretty sure it had to do with leaks about the worst-kept secret in the history of warfare; that is to say, I'm pretty sure he was on about a future president's right to explode the fuck out of whatever with drones. I might be wrong. It might have been the Snowden bit, but vague recollection strongly suggests it was later.

    I don't know if we're going to hear it from the Trump administration. I mean, it seems nearly inevitable and I'm wondering whether his administration will be the fastest to it. But there is a possibility they don't know to say it; there is a possibility they are calculating against saying it; if Bannon is worth his paycheck he should see the joke and start plotting for a time to drop the line, and only use it when nobody is expecting it because it's an absolutely appropriate thing to say on whatever particular occasion.

    But it's possible they'll never figure out how to use that basic hunk of traditional American bullshit.
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    I never said it was efficient or cheap (at least not in most circumstances) - I said it was a good way to hire, if you could do it, with the background assumption that high quality of job performance was the overriding criterion. And I pointed out that Trump has done this a couple of times now, in the course of setting up and campaigning, and it worked very well for him. If it was luck, he's been a lucky man for the past couple of years.

    What I'm worried about is the same thing that worried me during the campaign - all the attention being focused on the chaotic side effects of the way he does stuff, diminution of awareness of what he is actually doing.
  23. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    But you have to admit that to choose this method of hiring for such critical jobs is totally inappropriate.. surely?
    If Trump has used this method then it is even more damning of his awareness of his/USA situation and thus leadership/business/political acumen.

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