U.S. spies are withholding intelligence from Donald Trump, who has none


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/02/15/u-s-spies-are-withholding-int.html


#2

The only thing more dangerous than a malignant narcissist autocrat is a malignant narcissist autocrat with half the information.


#3

I’m not sure I agree. Not only CIA but also Israel has been careful what they share.


#4

Doesn’t Trump’s incuriosity towards intelligence details undermine the notion that he’s going to leak them to Russia?


#5

They’ve using him to leak disinformation to Putin.


#6

At this point, I’d say tRump counts as a foreign adversary, and actually giving him the intelligence might be treasonous.


#8

I really don’t know what’s worse. The fact that we now effectively have a deep state, or the fact that there’s a good reason to have one.


#9

Just because Trump is incurious, it doesn’t mean someone else in his administration won’t leak it. He’s not the only Russian puppet.


#10

I wouldn’t trust tRump with my shoe size.


#11

I guess they didn’t get the memo.


#12

… if Cheeto Benito were just a used car salesman from Topeka with two ex-wives and six bankruptcies in the rear-view, who was spouting conspiracy theories and personal grievances at all hours to the customers, and his partners met secretly and decided it was time to buy him out, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for those partners to keep business information under lock and key in the run-up to that (likely) hostile corporate action.

If that used car salesman’s third wife had gotten tired of the emotional abuse and erratic behavior, and decided to walk, it would be reasonable for her to keep her legal appointments and liquidation of her personal assets secret while she gets the money and the paperwork ready to go.

I am not about to go Kantian categorical imperative on this. For the past 60 years, we’ve built our entire intelligence system on a principle of need to know and clearances. (We can argue whether this is a good system or not elsewhere; we have a major body of case law that is premised on this theory, so these are the rules we’ve set out.) No President is a god, a hyperintelligence, or endowed with the divine right of kings. All Presidents are first citizens. There is precedent for controlling Presidential access; during the Woodrow Wilson stroke era, after Dwight Eisenhower had major heart surgery, and in the waning Nixon days.

We do have an oversight problem – that’s been clear for 15 years at least – but we also have dozens to hundreds of people risking their careers, retirements, and their freedom in the service of what they see as a higher cause. Since I tend to give significant benefit of the doubt to whistleblowers, I have to extend that to both leakers and those controlling information. They swore to uphold the Constitution first, after all. I’m willing to give them time now, and handle the consequences of their actions later.

Do I want hearings? You betcha. But we figure out the cause of the fire after the building is not burning, not while there are still people on the 12th floor.


#13

If the intelligence community really believes this president (or anyone in his administration) to be working against US interests and sharing information with our enemies, then they should present their case to Congress, remove him from office, and try him for treason. But if they just think he’s making bad decisions, they need to give him the full intelligence afforded to any president. Anything less only sets Trump up as a puppet of the intelligence community and puts him in a worse position to use what little reason he might have to make informed decisions.


#14

Do you think congress even cares? They’re lining their pockets before the country collapses. They don’t give a fuck, and mark my words: they won’t ever impeach tRump, unless he does something that personally costs a republican money.


#15

I think they know that part of Congress is complicit or actively involved.

To use my analogy of the Topeka car salesman, if the abused third wife knows that the police chief golfs with her abuser, and the mayor gets special deals on cars and campaign contributions, she’s not going to trust them to defend her rights.


#16

Republicans can only line their pockets as long as they’re in power. If Trump is caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and there is irrefutable proof of imporoper influence by the Russian goverment, republicans will impeach to save the reputation of their party. That’s the calculus going on right now on Capitol Hill; is there enough support for investigation and possible impeachment, or would proponents of that be sticking their neck out to get chopped off by a more powerful Trump who survives? Will it do more damage to the party to remove him now than to let him continue and ultimately be removed possible years later? We are right on the cusp, I think…


#17

I think you’re right, but it can be argued that Pence would be even better for the GOP machine, with less of the liabilities of Trump’s bull in the china shop “style”. Pence is more predictable since he actually believes in his heinous POV, unlike Trump who believe in nothing but his own aggrandizement.


#18

If they cared about the reputation of their party, they wouldn’t have let tRump get nominated. They’ve made a joke of themselves so long, I think they’ve forgotten what dignity, reputation and honor even are.


#19

…But her emails.


#20

Jared Leto’s Joker?

Damn. I’m not sure who should be more insulted by that comparison.


#21

Could be that they limit the information to 45 only because he cannot handle more?