Trump presidency

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby freezeblade » Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:54 pm UTC

It's a difficult balance. If an agency knows of wrong doing, but knows that unless it is leaked, nothing will be done about it (or it will be covered up), what is one to do?
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:55 pm UTC

Plasma_Wolf wrote:Meanwhile, Trump is aiming a gun at the messenger:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/831853862281699331


He isn't wrong.

The fact that Flynn was talking about sanctions with Russia is obviously messed up, as it not only undermines the (then) sitting President but gives the appearance of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. And, by stating to his superiors that he hadn't discussed sanctions, Flynn sets himself up for potential blackmail. The whole thing gives the appearance of incompetence if you're feeling generous; and actual collusion with a foreign power if you're not. It was a huge fuck-up at every level.

But all of that being said, the fact that we have members of the IC who are apparently actively seeking to undermine the sitting administration, by releasing sensitive information to be public, is also pretty fucked, and frankly dangerous.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:56 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
Zamfir wrote:
Plasma_Wolf wrote:Meanwhile, Trump is aiming a gun at the messenger:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/831853862281699331

Is he wrong, though? It is somewhat odd to have intelligence services wage a PR war against the president.

Leaking from intelligence agencies would be a crime, unless the White House itself leaked it. This information was somewhat of an open secret. Several agencies knew so it's hard to tell who leaked.


The speculation I'm guessing is most likely is that the leaks came from the Justice Department, from people loyal to Yates.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:17 pm UTC

cphite wrote:But all of that being said, the fact that we have members of the IC who are apparently actively seeking to undermine the sitting administration, by releasing sensitive information to be public, is also pretty fucked, and frankly dangerous.

It is a bit unsettling. On the other hand, what else do you do when the people who constitute the proper channels for handling this information are actively dismissing it, transparently because it would be politically inconvenient for them to let it come out?
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:31 pm UTC

Considering the Russians could have used the fact Flynn broke the law to blackmail him, bringing the whole thing out into the open made the US more secure, not less.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:48 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:Considering the Russians could have used the fact Flynn broke the law to blackmail him, bringing the whole thing out into the open made the US more secure, not less.


First off, we don't know that Flynn broke the law. We know that he discussed sanctions with his Russian counterpart; but that could mean that he implied sanctions would be lifted in exchange for some action on their part, which would be against the law - or it could mean that he simply discussed the sanctions in a more general sense, which would arguably be a normal thing for someone in line for his position to discuss. The actual transcript has not been made public. There has been plenty of speculation about what exactly was discussed, but it's just that - speculation.

The only thing we know, publicly, is that Flynn discussed sanctions and then told his superiors that he did not discuss sanctions; which was a breach of trust and looks bad. Yes, it could still have made him vulnerable to blackmail, but that doesn't excuse a public release.

Frankly, whether or not Flynn broke the law, having random anonymous people in the IC release this sort of information to the public on a whim doesn't make the US more secure. There are very good reasons why SIGINT information is kept highly secure, that frankly transcend what any one person is suspected of doing.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:50 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
Mutex wrote:Considering the Russians could have used the fact Flynn broke the law to blackmail him, bringing the whole thing out into the open made the US more secure, not less.


First off, we don't know that Flynn broke the law. We know that he discussed sanctions with his Russian counterpart; but that could mean that he implied sanctions would be lifted in exchange for some action on their part, which would be against the law - or it could mean that he simply discussed the sanctions in a more general sense, which would arguably be a normal thing for someone in line for his position to discuss. The actual transcript has not been made public. There has been plenty of speculation about what exactly was discussed, but it's just that - speculation.

The only thing we know, publicly, is that Flynn discussed sanctions and then told his superiors that he did not discuss sanctions; which was a breach of trust and looks bad. Yes, it could still have made him vulnerable to blackmail, but that doesn't excuse a public release.

Frankly, whether or not Flynn broke the law, having random anonymous people in the IC release this sort of information to the public on a whim doesn't make the US more secure. There are very good reasons why SIGINT information is kept highly secure, that frankly transcend what any one person is suspected of doing.

Quick note, even if he didn't break the Logan act, he may have lied to the FBI about it. And that IS a felony, even is the original offense is not.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:07 pm UTC

If the intelligence community suspects Flynn is being blackmailed by Moscow, they might be concerned SIGINT *is* being released already, all the time. Releasing one bit to get rid of the mole would... make sense.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:39 pm UTC

Trump on antisemitism (facepalm worthy):

https://twitter.com/SopanDeb/status/831 ... 88/photo/1
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:47 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Trump on antisemitism (facepalm worthy):

https://twitter.com/SopanDeb/status/831 ... 88/photo/1

What an incredible man.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby SDK » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:52 pm UTC

You guys can't expect him to be practiced with his non-answers. He's not a career politician! This is exactly the reason we elected him! You see how he doesn't even try to hide the fact that he completely dodged the question? That's honesty.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:17 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Quick note, even if he didn't break the Logan act, he may have lied to the FBI about it. And that IS a felony, even is the original offense is not.


So is releasing classified intelligence data to the public.

Mutex wrote:If the intelligence community suspects Flynn is being blackmailed by Moscow, they might be concerned SIGINT *is* being released already, all the time. Releasing one bit to get rid of the mole would... make sense.


First off... No. If you believe someone to be a mole you investigate their activity; you don't compromise security because security might be compromised. Especially when "might be compromised" is based on a hunch that your target might be blackmailed for something he might have actually said.

And second... even if it makes sense to release selected SIGINT for the purposes of investigation, there are proper channels for doing that. Anonymous leaks to the f'king media by random people isn't anything close to the proper channels.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:19 pm UTC

SDK wrote:You guys can't expect him to be practiced with his non-answers. He's not a career politician! This is exactly the reason we elected him! You see how he doesn't even try to hide the fact that he completely dodged the question? That's honesty.


Did he dodge the question? As a white male, I believe I speak on behalf of Jewish people and minorities everywhere when I say that I am sure Trump's 306 electoral votes are very comforting to those who are concerned with Trump shifting focus away from right-wing domestic terrorists, combined with his outright refusal to acknowledge their existence and the fact that white supremacists are his biggest supporters, and in fact seems dedicated to focusing on policy that appeals solely to them.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:38 pm UTC

cphite wrote:And second... even if it makes sense to release selected SIGINT for the purposes of investigation, there are proper channels for doing that. Anonymous leaks to the f'king media by random people isn't anything close to the proper channels.

Again, the entire problem is that the "proper channels" have refused to investigate this for what are obviously political reasons. What do you do in that situation?
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:00 am UTC

Agreed. Whistleblowing is a fundamentally important check and balance within a healthy democracy (as is, for example, jury nullification.)

The chain of command goes [subordinate]->[section head]->[the president]->[WE, THE PUBLIC] and all employees have the right to go straight to the top (ie. us) if those in between are unable/unwilling to do the right thing.

(Ideally it wouldn't be necessary for whistleblowers to do it anonymously but no country in the world treats whistleblowers with the respect they deserve. Just look at how Manning was tortured and that was under Obama's watch(!))

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:26 am UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
cphite wrote:And second... even if it makes sense to release selected SIGINT for the purposes of investigation, there are proper channels for doing that. Anonymous leaks to the f'king media by random people isn't anything close to the proper channels.

Again, the entire problem is that the "proper channels" have refused to investigate this for what are obviously political reasons. What do you do in that situation?

Quite. For all we know, the CIA head ordered the release of this information because he realised it was the only way to get anything done about it.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:11 am UTC

cphite wrote:First off... No. If you believe someone to be a mole you investigate their activity; you don't compromise security because security might be compromised. Especially when "might be compromised" is based on a hunch that your target might be blackmailed for something he might have actually said.

And second... even if it makes sense to release selected SIGINT for the purposes of investigation, there are proper channels for doing that. Anonymous leaks to the f'king media by random people isn't anything close to the proper channels.
Would the Justice Department notifying the White House that Flynn might be compromised be considered a 'proper channel'? Because that's what the Justice Department did.

The White House's response was, apparently... "shrug"?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:01 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
cphite wrote:First off... No. If you believe someone to be a mole you investigate their activity; you don't compromise security because security might be compromised. Especially when "might be compromised" is based on a hunch that your target might be blackmailed for something he might have actually said.

And second... even if it makes sense to release selected SIGINT for the purposes of investigation, there are proper channels for doing that. Anonymous leaks to the f'king media by random people isn't anything close to the proper channels.
Would the Justice Department notifying the White House that Flynn might be compromised be considered a 'proper channel'? Because that's what the Justice Department did.

The White House's response was, apparently... "shrug"?


You contact a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. If you don't trust the President, and you don't trust the President's party, then pick a member of the opposition party (A Democrat). The entirety of the Senate Intelligence Committee has top-secret clearances due to the nature of their work (writing laws that govern FBI / NSA / CIA / etc. etc.)

Wyden probably would be a good pick. Or hell, probably just mass email all the Democrats.

FYI: The Senate Intelligence Committee was created because of Nixon. People not trusting Presidents is not a new phenomenon. There are proper channels to go through. Its one of the few Committees that's guaranteed to have an 8 / 7 split due to its huge importance.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:04 am UTC

Not a fan of the Pentagon papers then?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:06 am UTC

sardia wrote:Not a fan of the Pentagon papers then?


The Senate Intelligence Committee didn't exist back then.

I'm sure you're a fan of their work.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:39 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
sardia wrote:Not a fan of the Pentagon papers then?


The Senate Intelligence Committee didn't exist back then.

I'm sure you're a fan of their work.

I was surprised you didn't think the fourth estate (the media/journalists) merited any access to classified information.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:11 am UTC

sardia wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:
sardia wrote:Not a fan of the Pentagon papers then?


The Senate Intelligence Committee didn't exist back then.

I'm sure you're a fan of their work.

I was surprised you didn't think the fourth estate (the media/journalists) merited any access to classified information.


I rarely have any moral absolutes. I only have preferences.

Clearly, contacting a high-ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee would get the job done faster in this case however. So I don't see any reason why you wouldn't just work with the Intelligence Committee to bring up this whole Russian shit. Even the Republicans on the Committee (ex: McCain) are concerned about the whole Trump & Russia thing and probably would hear you out.

The 4th Estate has so far been powerless to stop Trump's rise in any case. I'm not entirely sure what these leaks accomplish aside from proving to Trump supporters that the intelligence services are anti-Trump and are on the side of the liberal media.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:14 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:The 4th Estate has so far been powerless to stop Trump's rise in any case. I'm not entirely sure what these leaks accomplish aside from proving to Trump supporters that the intelligence services are anti-Trump and are on the side of the liberal media.

Well, they got Flynn ousted and lit a fire under Chaffetz's ass, that's a start.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby zmic » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:31 am UTC

Obama as been slithering towards war with Russia for 8 years. Now we have a president who has had good relationships with Russia for decades and there is a possibility for a detente. I thought that no war would be good news, but the Democrats want to crucify Trump and are stooping to levels of McCarthyesque bullshit that make my mouth fall open. Talking to a Russian is apparently a crime now. Do you understand that you are being played by people who want to get rich from war?

I heard the Russians love their children too.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:29 am UTC

zmic wrote:Obama as been slithering towards war with Russia for 8 years.
Which is why he failed to prevent Russia taking Crimea and effectively taking other territories. Too warlike, obviously, for Russia not to annoy him by doing these things (and others). No, wait...

(Obama should have had better and more obvious red lines that he was prepared to react to. Russia knows what they are prepared to do if not significantly dissuaded, and targetted economic sanctions probably hardly registered.)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Plasma_Wolf » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:29 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
Plasma_Wolf wrote:Meanwhile, Trump is aiming a gun at the messenger:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/831853862281699331

Is he wrong, though? It is somewhat odd to have intelligence services wage a PR war against the president.

Sorry, I'm using the wrong tweet for my point. Yes, he has to at least reprimand whoever was responsible (but you'd better do that without tweeting, and just dealing with it internally).

What I'm concerned about is that he continues to call media companies "fake news" for reporting these things. Lashing out at these won't solve the problem that you already have, do you? This is what I found so disturbing about the wikileaks thing. The hunt on the person who did it was more important than the actual problems. The same seems to happen now.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby xkcdfan » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:16 pm UTC

zmic wrote:
xkcdfan wrote:Hard to imagine why Obama could have been weary and depressed. It's not like he spent his entire presidency being obstructed by petty, childish Republican congresspeople throwing tantrums about everything he and the Democrats tried to do, no matter how benign or even beneficial. Not like Republicans spent nearly a year refusing to even allow a vote on his Supreme Court appointment.


To give one example of the Republican's "obstruction" : Obama asked Congress to bomb Syria. Congress refused. Obama bombed Syria anyway. In fact, they bombed so much that they ran out of bombs. Talk about "benign and beneficial", much?

It's rich that Trump is being called Hitler for not allowing Syrians into the USA while Obama's cabinet KILLED countless Syrians in Syria so that certain people could get rich selling bombs. That and that other tax racket on the American people, the "Affordable Care Act".

Obama is basically a decent guy but an ineffective intellectual who was easily overruled by his cabinet. And in the end he understood this. That's why he appears so deflated near the end of his presidency.

Trump got elected because he was the only candidate who dared to say the word of this age: corruption. Have you heard Clinton or Obama say that word even once, ever? So who is being real here?

I said "no matter how benign or beneficial", not "everything he did was benign and beneficial". The Republicans don't give a shit about Syria or any other country in Africa or the Middle East; they only opposed his overstepping there because he was a Democrat. Remind me again about how Iraq toooootally had WMDs?

Sorry you hate that so many people were able to get insurance after the ACA passed. I really do feel for you if you're one of the minority of policy-holders whose rates went up, but are you really so selfish that you would take health care away from all the people who couldn't afford it before and who couldn't get it before due to having pre-existing conditions?

Trump said the word "corruption". He's also more corrupt than any other candidate was. Cool beans.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:21 pm UTC

zmic wrote:Obama as been slithering towards war with Russia for 8 years.


Wat?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_reset

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/04/world ... ussia.html

Russian relations didn't really deteriorate until the Crimean incident in 2014. And Trump seems to agree?

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/15/politics/ ... index.html
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:25 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:You contact a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. If you don't trust the President, and you don't trust the President's party, then pick a member of the opposition party (A Democrat). The entirety of the Senate Intelligence Committee has top-secret clearances due to the nature of their work (writing laws that govern FBI / NSA / CIA / etc. etc.)

Wyden probably would be a good pick. Or hell, probably just mass email all the Democrats.
Okay, fair enough -- but wouldn't that also be considered a 'leak'?
zmic wrote:Obama as been slithering towards war with Russia for 8 years. Now we have a president who has had good relationships with Russia for decades and there is a possibility for a detente. I thought that no war would be good news, but the Democrats want to crucify Trump and are stooping to levels of McCarthyesque bullshit that make my mouth fall open. Talking to a Russian is apparently a crime now. Do you understand that you are being played by people who want to get rich from war?
Your position is absurd and stands in open defiance against facts. As usual.

At least you're consistent?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:40 pm UTC

Fantastic Idea wrote:Wow, so 45 talked about the problems with Wall Street and said he'd drain the swamp in the same breath, but taking someone from Goldmann Sachs and putting them in charge of the Treasury is a fulfillment of his promise to drain the swamp? Ok, glad at least the voters know how to pivot.
He's put his family in his cabinet, refused to divest himself from his businesses, uses the office of the presidency to chastise companies for dropping his daughter's clothing line, given positions to people whose spouses or companies helped him on his campaign, happily directs foreign representatives to stay in the hotels he owns, but you believe he's 'draining the swamp'?

Democrats like to breathe clean air and drink clean water also! It's not JUST that we're allergic to rich people. We like the EPA cause we hate it when rivers catch on fire.


Yeah, but...you can't seriously be surprised that the Republicans give zero shits about the EPA.

That's not really news. Yes, yes, the things he is doing are not kind to Democrat priorities. They're generally pretty favorable to Republican ones, though. And no, this does not bother Republicans. They're not going to nitpick over exactly what he said with regards to draining the swap, so long as he appears to be doing that from the perspective of their values.

Yeah, if you're looking at it from an entanglement of money with power perspective...Trump has a LOT of that. But Republicans simply don't care very much.

zmic wrote:
sardia wrote:I went to a Democratic meeting just to see the local opposition. It was pretty disappointing. Lots of fear mongering, not a lot of organization. Nobody seems to understand why Democrats lost. Almost nobody had any data to back up their talk. I dare say the average attendee is worse than the worst posters here. Oh well. Maybe the next meetup will go better.


To understand why the Democrats lost people need to stop staring at Hillary and looking a bit more closely at Obama and the true nature of his presidency.

It's ironic that Trump is now being smeared as a shill, a puppet and and easily manipulated fool by the same corporate establishment that used Obama exactly like that for 8 years, and to great effect. Your tax dollars, they surely bought some nice fireworks in the Middle East. And Obama? His weariness and depression where almost palpable in the last 2 years.


Hmm, interesting. I do think Obama became more...tired of the job as he approached the end of his term, sure. I think that's normal to some extent, though. It's a hard job. Before and after photos of presidents tend to show significant aging. Lots o' stress.

But, to look at Obama, with regards to why Clinton lost, what exactly do you think he contributed to it? I agree that, to an extent, a president's popularity influences his successors odds, but I don't see Obama as unusually bad in this regard.

Sure, sure, things like The Affordable Care Act were not popular with the right. But...there's always *some* partisan differences. That falls under politics as normal, mostly.

zmic wrote:
xkcdfan wrote:Hard to imagine why Obama could have been weary and depressed. It's not like he spent his entire presidency being obstructed by petty, childish Republican congresspeople throwing tantrums about everything he and the Democrats tried to do, no matter how benign or even beneficial. Not like Republicans spent nearly a year refusing to even allow a vote on his Supreme Court appointment.


To give one example of the Republican's "obstruction" : Obama asked Congress to bomb Syria. Congress refused. Obama bombed Syria anyway. In fact, they bombed so much that they ran out of bombs. Talk about "benign and beneficial", much?

It's rich that Trump is being called Hitler for not allowing Syrians into the USA while Obama's cabinet KILLED countless Syrians in Syria so that certain people could get rich selling bombs. That and that other tax racket on the American people, the "Affordable Care Act".


While I agree that Obama's presidency did make the early awarding of him the Nobel Peace Prize even more amusing, I don't think it was terribly election relevant. Generally, Republicans are pretty okay with a strong national defense policy. Oh, they might cry hypocrisy or whatever, but they're not actually put out by the actions overly much, nor are they terribly worried about Syria, save for any threat it might potentially pose us.

And, I just don't see heavy disagreement over nation defense as a strong theme in the election. So, I don't think it explains the outcome well.

Zamfir wrote:
Plasma_Wolf wrote:Meanwhile, Trump is aiming a gun at the messenger:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/831853862281699331

Is he wrong, though? It is somewhat odd to have intelligence services wage a PR war against the president.


Sure. Hatch act strongly restricts the ability of intel agencies, etc to interact with politics, and traditionally, it goes beyond that. Generally speaking, intel agencies are *supposed* to be neutral. Granted, so are other government agencies, and it doesn't always work out well. But I think there's a clear expectation that they're supposed to be working for the executive, not fighting him.

I believe that said complaints are *supposed* to go to the AG's office, not to the media. Don't really have any insight to if/how that was attempted. That said, however it was handled, probably a good thing that Flynn's gone.

zmic wrote:Obama as been slithering towards war with Russia for 8 years. Now we have a president who has had good relationships with Russia for decades and there is a possibility for a detente. I thought that no war would be good news, but the Democrats want to crucify Trump and are stooping to levels of McCarthyesque bullshit that make my mouth fall open. Talking to a Russian is apparently a crime now. Do you understand that you are being played by people who want to get rich from war?

I heard the Russians love their children too.


Nah, talking to anyone is fine, if it's done right. But breakin' the rules is breakin' the rules. Dude screwed up. I'm sure Russia will still be talked to, but this getting fixed is, in the end, probably for the best.

Diplomacy is better served by doin' stuff the right way.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:51 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:You contact a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. If you don't trust the President, and you don't trust the President's party, then pick a member of the opposition party (A Democrat). The entirety of the Senate Intelligence Committee has top-secret clearances due to the nature of their work (writing laws that govern FBI / NSA / CIA / etc. etc.)

Wyden probably would be a good pick. Or hell, probably just mass email all the Democrats.
Okay, fair enough -- but wouldn't that also be considered a 'leak'?


Well, I mean email the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee. IE: Mass email the 7 Democrats on the Committee. The job description of the Senate Intelligence Committee is:

[To] provide vigilant legislative oversight over the intelligence activities of the United States to assure that such activities are in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States.


https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/about

The entirety of the Senate Intelligence Committee have Top Secret clearances, and their "Need to Know" is literally in their job description to be informed about ALL intelligence activities. So its not a leak if taken through the proper channels.

Besides, these are the people who need to be convinced for any action to be taken against FBI / CIA / whatever. Clearly, Mr. Trump ain't gonna do anything here, so it comes down to the Senate. And the 15 Senators in charge of intelligence sit on that committee.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:21 pm UTC

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/15/upsh ... n%2Fupshot
The party out of power, Democrats, will start embracing conspiracy theories.

Anecdotally,I know this is happening because we always make jokes about Trump's golden shower with no evidence.

The thing that isn't happening is the party in power is suppose to get less insane. Which it kinda is, given their caution with The Affordable Care Act.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:51 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Well, I mean email the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee. IE: Mass email the 7 Democrats on the Committee.

If he does it anonymously, they probably won't do anything. And if he goes on the record, he'll certainly lose his job - and possibly his liberty - because the US doesn't take whistleblower protection seriously.

In the end, the safest and most likely way to get a result is to whistleblow publically - that way the members of this committee get to hear about and are forced by weight of public opinion to do something about it.

(If you wish, you can read the depressing history of how whistleblowers spent literally years trying to reign in the unconstitutional activities of the various intelligence services before Snowden blew the whistle publically. The same thing occurred re the torture going on in Gitmo and CIA black sites.)

Ultimately, government is incapable of reigning in its abuses when the executive is complicit; Silencing the whistleblower is just soo much easier. Shaming via public pressure is literally the only check and balance available.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby iamspen » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:29 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
Mutex wrote:Considering the Russians could have used the fact Flynn broke the law to blackmail him, bringing the whole thing out into the open made the US more secure, not less.
The only thing we know, publicly, is that Flynn discussed sanctions and then told his superiors that he did not discuss sanctions; which was a breach of trust and looks bad.


Do you believe that? Do you honestly believe his superiors are telling the truth when they say he told them he didn't discuss sanctions? Given the tweeting-blatant-lies-once-an-hour-or-so tendencies of this administration and its blatant disregard for anything that doesn't result in a power grab, I'll take their claims with an entire ocean's worth of salt, thanks.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:13 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
cphite wrote:And second... even if it makes sense to release selected SIGINT for the purposes of investigation, there are proper channels for doing that. Anonymous leaks to the f'king media by random people isn't anything close to the proper channels.


Again, the entire problem is that the "proper channels" have refused to investigate this for what are obviously political reasons. What do you do in that situation?


Based on what? Who was notified and refused to investigate?

The Great Hippo wrote:Would the Justice Department notifying the White House that Flynn might be compromised be considered a 'proper channel'? Because that's what the Justice Department did.


The fact that they notified the White House isn't the issue here; the issue is that they also leaked the information to multiple news agencies at the same time.

The White House's response was, apparently... "shrug"?


Their response was to publicly fire the National Security Adviser... not exactly a shrug. When the president asks for your resignation, he isn't really asking...

iamspen wrote:Do you believe that? Do you honestly believe his superiors are telling the truth when they say he told them he didn't discuss sanctions?


Frankly, I don't really care. Either they knew and they're pissed that they were caught in a lie; or they didn't know and they're pissed because they've appeared incompetent. Neither is good. But neither justifies rogue agents in the IC releasing sensitive information for political hits. Do you honestly believe that it's coincidence that this comes out right after Pence makes his public statement?

Given the tweeting-blatant-lies-once-an-hour-or-so tendencies of this administration and its blatant disregard for anything that doesn't result in a power grab, I'll take their claims with an entire ocean's worth of salt, thanks.


Fair enough.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:06 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
commodorejohn wrote:
cphite wrote:And second... even if it makes sense to release selected SIGINT for the purposes of investigation, there are proper channels for doing that. Anonymous leaks to the f'king media by random people isn't anything close to the proper channels.

Again, the entire problem is that the "proper channels" have refused to investigate this for what are obviously political reasons. What do you do in that situation?

Based on what? Who was notified and refused to investigate?

Have you been paying attention at all? The Justice Department under Yates informed the White House about this last month and they just shrugged it off. Nobody did anything about it until it was leaked to the press and people's "what the hell!?" lightbulbs went on. Even now Chaffetz is trying to shrug this off and avoid investigating it any further, focusing instead on finding and punishing the person who leaked it and made them look either incompetent, negligent, or sinister.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zamfir » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:22 pm UTC

Ultimately, government is incapable of reigning in its abuses when the executive is complicit; Silencing the whistleblower is just soo much easier. Shaming via public pressure is literally the only check and balance available.

Abuse is a strong word here... The guy jumped the gun and talked to Russia before he was supposed to. That might an unacceptable breach of procedure, but it's hardly a great abusive crime like torture.

It's not like people leaked this because they are deeply opposed to the action itself. They leaked it because they don't like Flynn, don't like the pro-Russia line of the new administration, and saw an opportunity to fuck with both.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Jumble » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:57 pm UTC

Trumps latest attack on the media
Just as a matter of interest, and without wanting to dismiss informed opinion, is there anyone left on this planet with an IQ in three figures interested in what he says on any subject any more? It's like watching the scribble of a baboon with a crayon (who unfortunately was also given a nuclear button).
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Dark567 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:08 pm UTC

I care just because a third of our country actually believes his shit and reacts on it.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:49 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
cphite wrote:
commodorejohn wrote:
cphite wrote:And second... even if it makes sense to release selected SIGINT for the purposes of investigation, there are proper channels for doing that. Anonymous leaks to the f'king media by random people isn't anything close to the proper channels.

Again, the entire problem is that the "proper channels" have refused to investigate this for what are obviously political reasons. What do you do in that situation?

Based on what? Who was notified and refused to investigate?


Have you been paying attention at all? The Justice Department under Yates informed the White House about this last month and they just shrugged it off.


Did you actually read the article or just the headline? It's been an ongoing investigation for weeks, both at the DOJ and at the White House internally... So I'll ask you again: What proper channels were notified and refused to investigate?

Nobody did anything about it until it was leaked to the press and people's "what the hell!?" lightbulbs went on.


What you mean to say is, nobody did anything publicly about it in the few weeks between the initial accusation and it being leaked to the press. Which is actually not an unreasonable amount of time considering the scope and the context of the accusations. Does it really surprise you that this, or any administration, would avoid making this sort of thing public until it absolutely had to do so?

Granted, it's kind of hard to imagine the Trump administration not blurting shit out via Twitter in a completely irresponsible manner; but the folks who actually investigate this sort of thing tend to be more... responsible and discrete... :D

Even now Chaffetz is trying to shrug this off and avoid investigating it any further, focusing instead on finding and punishing the person who leaked it and made them look either incompetent, negligent, or sinister.


Both the IC and the DOJ have stated publicly that Flynn didn't break the law. Without seeing the actual transcripts, you and I will probably never know for certain if he did or not. But the persons who leaked the SIGINT absolutely did break the law, irregardless of what Flynn did or did not do, or what the various agencies did or did not do.


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