Trump presidency

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Tue May 16, 2017 4:34 am UTC

We need to know who leaked the details of this highly sensitive meeting to anti-American liberals at the Washington Post fake news outlet. The first amendment was not intended to protect the Washington Post from disclosing the identities of potential terrorists committing crimes against the United States of America.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Plasma_Wolf » Tue May 16, 2017 1:19 pm UTC

So, I expected Trump to deny it. I expected him to say nothing but "FAKE NEWS. FAKE NEWS. FAKE NEWS." for 24 hours straight, but I didn't expect him to admit what he was doing: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/05/16/politics/donald-trump-russia-right/index.html.

So, I only have one question: What the hell?!

I don't know what is worse: that he doesn't have his subordinates under control or that (when it's about classified military information) they were actually doing the right thing (deny it being leaked to someone who isn't an ally).

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Tue May 16, 2017 1:53 pm UTC

He enjoys throwing his people under the bus. It's a repeat of last week - sends folks out to deny everything, gets mad that they're getting more attention than him, comes out and brags about what he really did/why he did it.



It's neat that Ann Coulter was already starting to publicly back away from Trump even before the news yesterday. Partly because he wasn't getting his horrible agenda enacted, partly because his administration is unnervingly chaotic.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Tue May 16, 2017 2:17 pm UTC

Liri wrote:He enjoys throwing his people under the bus. It's a repeat of last week - sends folks out to deny everything, gets mad that they're getting more attention than him, comes out and brags about what he really did/why he did it.

Trump throwing his own people under the bus has become a familiar sight. But lately he's been throwing himself under the bus.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Tue May 16, 2017 2:18 pm UTC

Liri wrote:He enjoys throwing his people under the bus. It's a repeat of last week - sends folks out to deny everything, gets mad that they're getting more attention than him, comes out and brags about what he really did/why he did it.



It's neat that Ann Coulter was already starting to publicly back away from Trump even before the news yesterday. Partly because he wasn't getting his horrible agenda enacted, partly because his administration is unnervingly chaotic.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/ev ... y-loyalty/
Based on past history, even the worse scandals of the Nixon era and beyond were defined by partisanship. This is both not new, yet different. Partisans always support scandalous behavior, Trump is not unprecedented in this regard. The biggest difference is the death of the moderates. Without moderates in the GOP party, there will be no scandal too big to bring down Trump. Data shows that it's always the moderates in the party that turn on a president during a scandal. Even they bias themselves towards partisanship.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Tue May 16, 2017 2:46 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
Liri wrote:He enjoys throwing his people under the bus. It's a repeat of last week - sends folks out to deny everything, gets mad that they're getting more attention than him, comes out and brags about what he really did/why he did it.



It's neat that Ann Coulter was already starting to publicly back away from Trump even before the news yesterday. Partly because he wasn't getting his horrible agenda enacted, partly because his administration is unnervingly chaotic.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/ev ... y-loyalty/
Based on past history, even the worse scandals of the Nixon era and beyond were defined by partisanship. This is both not new, yet different. Partisans always support scandalous behavior, Trump is not unprecedented in this regard. The biggest difference is the death of the moderates. Without moderates in the GOP party, there will be no scandal too big to bring down Trump. Data shows that it's always the moderates in the party that turn on a president during a scandal. Even they bias themselves towards partisanship.

I like that we read the same 538 articles. I listened to their podcast from yesterday this morning, too.

The takeaway from the part of the podcast where they brought on a presidential scandal scholar from the university of Houston was that it would take either Trump's support dropping below 80% with republicans and/or hard evidence of an honest-to-goodness crime (there was one other option, but I can't remember off the top of my head).
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Tue May 16, 2017 3:17 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
Mutex wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:The fact of the matter is: Donald Trump has revealed classified information before it has been declassified. That's big.

Could you elaborate? Other than making him look terrible, what actual repercussions will he face for this?


Honestly, I'm so cynical that I don't think he'll face any actual repercussions unless this manages to piss off his base somehow.


Technically, as president he is the highest authority as to what is or is not classified; it might be politically bad for him, but that's the extent of it.

As discussed throughout this thread... the power to impeach the President rests in the House of Representatives. And those House Members will continue to back the President as long as their supporters back the President.


Basically, what the president "revealed" is that we're on the lookout for explosives built into electronic devices.

There has been a ban on laptops and similar devices on flights coming from the Middle East for weeks... this is public knowledge. The reason why is also public knowledge, and easily guessed by anyone who cares.

The people who'd like to make bombs out of laptops will have figured out by now, that the reason laptops are banned is because someone heard about their plans; this is pretty obvious. They will also have worked out by now that if their plans are known by their enemies, then someone close to the plan has been talking; this is also pretty obvious.

None of this is anything that the Russians wouldn't have already worked out on their own; nor is it anything ISIS will not have already worked out on their own. At worst, Rump has confirmed what they'll have determined - which is a misstep in the world of intelligence, but in this case it's kind of like confirming that the ocean is wet.

All of that being said... it's entirely possible that the intelligence community backed the decision to inform the Russians, and that whoever leaked the story really is the problem here. It's also entirely possible that this entire "leak" was intentional - and that the IC wanted the information out there, to let the bad guys know that we know what they're thinking about.

I have a bit of hope that after the whole Clinton classified email on a server that may have been hacked by the Russians thing will pale in comparison to just... telling the Russians classified information. If Trump's base holds even a shred of consistency, they might become pissed at this event.


One critical difference is that, as president, Rump has the authority, whereas Clinton did not.

Until then, the Republicans hold a majority in the House and Senate, so it will require a majority in the House (to being the Impeachement) and a super-majority in the Senate (66 I think) to remove him from office.


I think if he actually does something worth impeaching him over, you might be surprised how many republicans jump on board. A lot will depend on public opinion, of course, but a lot of republicans especially the party leadership really don't like the guy or even consider him one of their own... In their view he's basically an independent who ran as a republican.

But unless he does something really illegal, impeachment is a pipe-dream. The GOP will probably lose the House in the next mid-term, but they'll probably keep the Senate and may actually gain some seats there, just due to the seats that are up.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue May 16, 2017 3:27 pm UTC

cphite wrote:Basically, what the president "revealed" is that we're on the lookout for explosives built into electronic devices.
No, what the President (allegedly) revealed was the source of this information. The President isn't being accused of saying "We're on the lookout for explosives built into electronic devices"; the President is being accused of saying "We know to be on the lookout for explosives built into electronic devices because of these sources, who are located in this city".

That's why people are flipping their shit.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Tue May 16, 2017 3:47 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:
Mutex wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:The fact of the matter is: Donald Trump has revealed classified information before it has been declassified. That's big.

Could you elaborate? Other than making him look terrible, what actual repercussions will he face for this?


Honestly, I'm so cynical that I don't think he'll face any actual repercussions unless this manages to piss off his base somehow.


Technically, as president he is the highest authority as to what is or is not classified; it might be politically bad for him, but that's the extent of it.

As discussed throughout this thread... the power to impeach the President rests in the House of Representatives. And those House Members will continue to back the President as long as their supporters back the President.


Basically, what the president "revealed" is that we're on the lookout for explosives built into electronic devices.

There has been a ban on laptops and similar devices on flights coming from the Middle East for weeks... this is public knowledge. The reason why is also public knowledge, and easily guessed by anyone who cares.

The people who'd like to make bombs out of laptops will have figured out by now, that the reason laptops are banned is because someone heard about their plans; this is pretty obvious. They will also have worked out by now that if their plans are known by their enemies, then someone close to the plan has been talking; this is also pretty obvious.

None of this is anything that the Russians wouldn't have already worked out on their own; nor is it anything ISIS will not have already worked out on their own. At worst, Rump has confirmed what they'll have determined - which is a misstep in the world of intelligence, but in this case it's kind of like confirming that the ocean is wet.

All of that being said... it's entirely possible that the intelligence community backed the decision to inform the Russians, and that whoever leaked the story really is the problem here. It's also entirely possible that this entire "leak" was intentional - and that the IC wanted the information out there, to let the bad guys know that we know what they're thinking about.

I have a bit of hope that after the whole Clinton classified email on a server that may have been hacked by the Russians thing will pale in comparison to just... telling the Russians classified information. If Trump's base holds even a shred of consistency, they might become pissed at this event.


One critical difference is that, as president, Rump has the authority, whereas Clinton did not.

Until then, the Republicans hold a majority in the House and Senate, so it will require a majority in the House (to being the Impeachement) and a super-majority in the Senate (66 I think) to remove him from office.


I think if he actually does something worth impeaching him over, you might be surprised how many republicans jump on board. A lot will depend on public opinion, of course, but a lot of republicans especially the party leadership really don't like the guy or even consider him one of their own... In their view he's basically an independent who ran as a republican.

But unless he does something really illegal, impeachment is a pipe-dream. The GOP will probably lose the House in the next mid-term, but they'll probably keep the Senate and may actually gain some seats there, just due to the seats that are up.

Cphite, the historical data shows you are wrong. Even the classics example, nixon was defended pretty hard all the way until the final tapes were released. But yea, the mid terms will be key. If Democrats can get more Senate seats, then they can start really pressuring Trump and the Republicans. House seats are almost a given.

Liri, be wary of group think. Even Nate Silver can be lead astray.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Tue May 16, 2017 3:58 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Liri, be wary of group think. Even Nate Silver can be lead astray.

Don't worry, I take their analyses with a grain of salt (Nate also wasn't on this podcast himself). That said, their modus operandi is usually, "let's wait and see what happens cause we're probably wrong about a fair bit."
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Chen » Tue May 16, 2017 4:27 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:No, what the President (allegedly) revealed was the source of this information. The President isn't being accused of saying "We're on the lookout for explosives built into electronic devices"; the President is being accused of saying "We know to be on the lookout for explosives built into electronic devices because of these sources, who are located in this city".

That's why people are flipping their shit.


The source themselves weren't revealed, just the city where they learned of the threat.

Most alarmingly, officials said, Trump revealed the city in the Islamic State’s territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat.


The information that was revealed about the plot though was also still classified regardless of the location business. I gotta wonder how many people were at this meeting though. It can't have been that many, considering the level of stuff being discussed. Seems very risky for the person leaking the information to the Washington Post.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Tue May 16, 2017 4:41 pm UTC

Chen wrote:I gotta wonder how many people were at this meeting though. It can't have been that many, considering the level of stuff being discussed. Seems very risky for the person leaking the information to the Washington Post.

There was a transcript and presumably someone not at the meeting could have learned of it from that.

Also, people in the intel community are saying it's a pretty BFD. It wasn't Trump's intel to share, with anyone.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby LaserGuy » Tue May 16, 2017 6:57 pm UTC

Sources are claiming that the leaked information is far worse than what was originally reported. May have something to do with the fact that the information came through an intelligence sharing agreement with Israel.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Tue May 16, 2017 7:15 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
cphite wrote:Basically, what the president "revealed" is that we're on the lookout for explosives built into electronic devices.


No, what the President (allegedly) revealed was the source of this information. The President isn't being accused of saying "We're on the lookout for explosives built into electronic devices"; the President is being accused of saying "We know to be on the lookout for explosives built into electronic devices because of these sources, who are located in this city".

That's why people are flipping their shit.


Yes; according to the unnamed sources who are illegally leaking what was said in a diplomatic meeting. Frankly, I am wary of taking such accusations at face value, when they're coming from people who are, themselves, violating intelligence protocol.

And let's be honest... if the folks who leaked this information were really concerned about the safety of the intelligence source, or about the US relationship with the nation of the intelligence source, blabbing about it to the world is exactly the opposite of what they would do. Trump giving intel to high-level diplomats carries a much, much lower risk than does putting the fact that he did so on the fucking evening news.

Assuming that Trump did reveal something that he should not have, proper protocol - and common sense for anyone who actually cared about the risks to people on the ground - would be to alert the IC and give them a chance to assess the damage and maybe even notify anyone who may have been compromised. Going public this way pretty much assures that isn't possible.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Tue May 16, 2017 7:17 pm UTC

Going public is the best way to inform the public we have a dangerously unprofessional guy in the white house. The Post complied with national security people and didn't reveal information they obtained about the city in question or any other sensitive details they might have had.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Tue May 16, 2017 7:26 pm UTC

Going public means that partisan interests in Congress can't just bury this and pretend it never happened. That's absolutely crucial, especially when the fuckup is of this magnitude.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue May 16, 2017 7:34 pm UTC

Chen wrote:The source themselves weren't revealed, just the city where they learned of the threat.
Oops, pardon!
cphite wrote:Yes; according to the unnamed sources who are illegally leaking what was said in a diplomatic meeting. Frankly, I am wary of taking such accusations at face value, when they're coming from people who are, themselves, violating intelligence protocol.
Trump himself has confirmed that yes, he leaked this information to the Russians.
cphite wrote:And let's be honest... if the folks who leaked this information were really concerned about the safety of the intelligence source, or about the US relationship with the nation of the intelligence source, blabbing about it to the world is exactly the opposite of what they would do. Trump giving intel to high-level diplomats carries a much, much lower risk than does putting the fact that he did so on the fucking evening news.

Assuming that Trump did reveal something that he should not have, proper protocol - and common sense for anyone who actually cared about the risks to people on the ground - would be to alert the IC and give them a chance to assess the damage and maybe even notify anyone who may have been compromised. Going public this way pretty much assures that isn't possible.
...you do realize that the people who leaked this information are probably the people most endangered by the President's leak, right? You're basically complaining that the CIA endangered the CIA by deciding to reveal that the President is leaking intel on the CIA.

Also, you do realize that when Trump leaks classified information, there is no legal recourse -- right? He's the President. He's allowed to do that.

Presidents have complete authority to tell anyone any classified information they want. If the President decides to start handing out sensitive information to the Russians, intelligence agencies have no where to turn. All they can do is announce that the President is handing their sensitive information to the Russians.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Chen » Tue May 16, 2017 7:47 pm UTC

The information that was leaked is not practically relevant. In fact it's probably not all that sensitive if it was just this laptop plot. Revealing WHERE they got the information is much worse since even just the city name can compromise their source, especially if Russia really wants to find out who it is.

I very much doubt he gave away the city in question through any type of intentional plan. He was very likely bragging, mentioned the city name without knowing what a big deal it was and gave the rest of the intel out as well without knowing the consequences. Frankly that's FAR more worrying than him actually intentionally screwing over some intelligence ally to give info Russia. The fact he probably gave a bunch away for no real reason besides ego is super damaging. That said, presumably the intelligence community will just stop telling him random things that don't affect decisions he has to make, right to the point where he needs them for some decision. He acts super impulsively anyways, so telling him right when he needs to make the decision probably works just as well as telling him in advance since he's probably not doing any deep thinking on it anyways. And there's less chance he blabs about it that way.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby morriswalters » Tue May 16, 2017 7:55 pm UTC

cphite wrote:And let's be honest... if the folks who leaked this information were really concerned about the safety of the intelligence source, or about the US relationship with the nation of the intelligence source, blabbing about it to the world is exactly the opposite of what they would do. Trump giving intel to high-level diplomats carries a much, much lower risk than does putting the fact that he did so on the fucking evening news.
The Russians are spending a lot of time harassing us. During the Cold War this was a common occurrence. It would be a good guess that they attempted to meddle in the election. At least one of Trump's people lost their jobs over contacts with Russia. And he just fired the FBI director who was investigating those and other connections. When hit your thumb with a hammer the first rule is to quit doing that. Not to keep hitting until it falls off. What was he thinking? He isn't in the Real Estate business currently. He needs to shut up. I fondly dream of Twitter going belly up some nights.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Quercus » Tue May 16, 2017 8:01 pm UTC

Chen wrote:That said, presumably the intelligence community will just stop telling him random things that don't affect decisions he has to make, right to the point where he needs them for some decision. He acts super impulsively anyways, so telling him right when he needs to make the decision probably works just as well as telling him in advance since he's probably not doing any deep thinking on it anyways. And there's less chance he blabs about it that way.


Being a parent of a toddler should be a job requirement for working in the Trump Whitehouse.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Tue May 16, 2017 8:45 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:...you do realize that the people who leaked this information are probably the people most endangered by the President's leak, right? You're basically complaining that the CIA endangered the CIA by deciding to reveal that the President is leaking intel on the CIA.


Um, no... they're not. The people who are in danger are the folks out in the field, actually living among the enemy and reporting on them; they're the ones who are risking their lives. The ones who leaked this information most likely live and work in the Washington DC area, in some of the safest facilities on the planet. The traffic can suck but it's not a war zone.

Also, you do realize that when Trump leaks classified information, there is no legal recourse -- right? He's the President. He's allowed to do that.


Yeah, I do - I said as much a few posts back.

Presidents have complete authority to tell anyone any classified information they want. If the President decides to start handing out sensitive information to the Russians, intelligence agencies have no where to turn. All they can do is announce that the President is handing their sensitive information to the Russians.


No, what they can do is go up their own chain of command, who in turn can take appropriate steps and perhaps - if all else fails - make it a public issue. These guys went straight to the media without missing a beat and the end result was exactly the situation they claim they were trying to prevent. Trump allegedly revealed sensitive information to high-level diplomats; these guys put it in the news.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue May 16, 2017 8:51 pm UTC

cphite wrote:Um, no... they're not. The people who are in danger are the folks out in the field, actually living among the enemy and reporting on them; they're the ones who are risking their lives. The ones who leaked this information most likely live and work in the Washington DC area, in some of the safest facilities on the planet. The traffic can suck but it's not a war zone.
So... you think an organization like the CIA would purposely leak information on CIA agents -- thereby putting them in mortal danger -- just to lash out at the President?

You apparently think intelligence organizations are run by morons who don't actually care about their field agents. I don't know what to say to that, beyond... I guess it's really important to you to assume everyone but the President is an idiot.
cphite wrote:No, what they can do is go up their own chain of command, who in turn can take appropriate steps and perhaps - if all else fails - make it a public issue. These guys went straight to the media without missing a beat and the end result was exactly the situation they claim they were trying to prevent. Trump allegedly revealed sensitive information to high-level diplomats; these guys put it in the news.
What part of this do you not get? Beyond impeachment, there are no appropriate steps to take. There's no one to notify, no one to contact, no one to run and cry to. In the eyes of the law, the President did nothing illegal. The only way to stop him from doing this is to remove him from office.

He is the head of the executive branch. He is our top military leader. If he decides to leak all our military secrets tomorrow, that is his right. Short of impeachment, there is no way to stop him.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Tue May 16, 2017 8:59 pm UTC

...or the 2nd Amendment...

(Of course I'm not saying someone should do something about that. Only said for satire purposes. Lest anyone can't see the implied variety of smiley that is intended but not actually available.)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ucim » Tue May 16, 2017 9:22 pm UTC

Chen wrote:That said, presumably the intelligence community will just stop telling him random things that don't affect decisions he has to make, right to the point where he needs them for some decision. He acts super impulsively anyways, so telling him right when he needs to make the decision probably works just as well as telling him in advance since he's probably not doing any deep thinking on it anyways.
There is, of course, the danger that this gets institutionalized. Do you see the problem with that?

Soupspoon wrote:...or the 2nd Amendment...
Doesn't solve the problem, just the symptom. To solve the problem, Congress and the American people must realize the extent to which our up has had love made to.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Tue May 16, 2017 9:49 pm UTC

Heh.

https://nytimes.com/2017/05/16/us/polit ... ation.html

Is this too much in too short a span of time? Will something happen? Probably not!
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Tue May 16, 2017 9:52 pm UTC

Gosh, what a surprise. Who could have seen that coming?
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Tue May 16, 2017 10:16 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
cphite wrote:Um, no... they're not. The people who are in danger are the folks out in the field, actually living among the enemy and reporting on them; they're the ones who are risking their lives. The ones who leaked this information most likely live and work in the Washington DC area, in some of the safest facilities on the planet. The traffic can suck but it's not a war zone.


So... you think an organization like the CIA would purposely leak information on CIA agents -- thereby putting them in mortal danger -- just to lash out at the President?


As an organization? No. A couple of unhappy people with a political agenda - quite likely.

You apparently think intelligence organizations are run by morons who don't actually care about their field agents. I don't know what to say to that, beyond... I guess it's really important to you to assume everyone but the President is an idiot.


That isn't even remotely close what I've been saying.

First off, I am not defending Trump or his release of the information; I've said multiple times now that, if indeed he simply blurted something out to satisfy his own ego, that it was stupid. You apparently believe that it's impossible to disagree with Trump and also disagree anyone who's opposed to Trump; but that's frankly an issue too silly to even address, so I'll leave that for you to work out on your own.

Second, I'm not suggesting that the CIA as an organization leaked the information, or that they don't care about field agents. What I am saying is that the specific people who released the information made a bad situation worse. I'm not sure if you think the CIA are robots or some kind of hive mind, or whatever, but it's entirely possible (and indeed quite probable) that the folks who leaked this information did so on their own accord.

Third, I'm not even suggesting that the folks who leaked this don't care about field agents; they may well believe that they did the right thing. I believe they were mistaken.

cphite wrote:No, what they can do is go up their own chain of command, who in turn can take appropriate steps and perhaps - if all else fails - make it a public issue. These guys went straight to the media without missing a beat and the end result was exactly the situation they claim they were trying to prevent. Trump allegedly revealed sensitive information to high-level diplomats; these guys put it in the news.


What part of this do you not get? Beyond impeachment, there are no appropriate steps to take. There's no one to notify, no one to contact, no one to run and cry to. In the eyes of the law, the President did nothing illegal. The only way to stop him from doing this is to remove him from office.


You're missing the point.

In situations like this, you go up the chain. The main reason is not because you think someone is going to do something about Trump, but because you need time to assess the situation and act accordingly. So that you can, for example, actually attempt to warn the people in the field that they might be compromised before that fact hits the open news. So that, if necessary, you can speak to your foreign sources and smooth over the fact that information was released - instead of them finding out about it in the papers. So that, you can monitor communications to see if it actually does get back to the enemy that they've been breached, and how long that takes for that to happen.

And, maybe someone sits down with the president and politely, diplomatically, asks that he maybe consider shutting the fuck up once in a while.

He is the head of the executive branch. He is our top military leader. If he decides to leak all our military secrets tomorrow, that is his right. Short of impeachment, there is no way to stop him.


Again, while it'd be awesome if there were a process to do something about jackwad running his mouth, that isn't the only reason to follow protocol. The real point is to salvage as much of the situation as possible; especially to protect the people who's lives may have been jeopardized. Putting this on the news isn't the way to do that.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Tue May 16, 2017 10:35 pm UTC

cphite wrote:You're missing the point.

In situations like this, you go up the chain.

What reason do you have to think that they didn't?

Most likely they either did or strongly considered it but had a good reason to decide against - for example knowing that their boss would tell them to f*ck off.

In an ideal world, internal whistleblowing is praised and defended. In practice, internal whistleblowing is career suicide at best, and can land you in jail at worst. See the lead-up to Snowdon's leaks, where internal whistleblowers were hounded relentlessly.

When you can't whistleblow internally, sometimes the least worst option is to blow the whistle publicly.
Last edited by elasto on Tue May 16, 2017 10:39 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue May 16, 2017 10:36 pm UTC

cphite wrote:Third, I'm not even suggesting that the folks who leaked this don't care about field agents; they may well believe that they did the right thing. I believe they were mistaken.


I think this is the core of your argument, and therefore we should focus on it. The interested parties are not "The CIA" but...

1. Trump
2. Russians
3. Unknown US Ally who (might have) got fucked by Trump.

The danger is not with the CIA directly: its that the ally who gave us the information is now in a bad spot, and may not trust us anymore in the future. Beyond that, I'm not entirely sure if US people are in fact at risk here. (Well, CIA's contacts with #3 are probably in an uncomfortable spot). But that's more or less what Washington Post has listed.

#3 is apparently fucked because the Russians can figure out who they are, how they got the information and all that. Remember, Russia is our opponent in Syria. They support Assad, and they've been bombing our allies (sometimes with Chemical weapons). The fact of the matter is... leaking this sort of information to the Russians is the worst it can get already.

So I'm not entirely sure how the discussion with the Press (which has been vague as all hell: we don't know what exactly was leaked, we don't know who #3 is, we don't know... anything... aside from the fact that it was classified) actually has made this situation any worse. But... I'm interested in hearing your point of view.

----------

The main question for debate is: what exactly did Trump say? Unfortunately, I bet that all of those details are highly classified, and will almost never see the light of day. At best, it will be a closed session of Congress, and then we'd have to just take judgements based on how angry the various Senators (or Congressmen) are after they read the transcripts of the Russian meeting.

IMO: its far more likely that the "leakers" (or who cphite claims is the leaker) are overreacting to what Trump said to the Russians.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Koa » Tue May 16, 2017 10:53 pm UTC

cphite wrote: I'm not sure if you think the CIA are robots or some kind of hive mind, or whatever, but it's entirely possible (and indeed quite probable) that the folks who leaked this information did so on their own accord.

Exactly, not sure why you were misunderstood. It's basically the shitty remix edition of "the leaks are true, the news is fake, and the real story is the leaker". I think it's far more likely that the CIA didn't object to this being leaked to the public, at the very least. Note the delay. The damage had already been done, and the damage will continue to be done until Trump's unaccountability shield is taken away, also known as the public. It's the IC adapting.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Tue May 16, 2017 11:14 pm UTC

Both the GOP and Russia have been treating Trump as a useful idiot. (And Trump seems to have been treating the GOP as useful idiots, too, but I digress.)

If Russia thinks keeping Trump in office isn't as useful to them as undermining his power is, I'm sure they'll leak some of the incriminating information they have on him. Perhaps he's reaching that stage of no longer being useful, and RUSSIA is the one leaking this stuff about the classified info having been leaked to them. If they want to undermine anyone competent around Trump, making it look as if those people are leaking info would be a great way to do it. And if Russia keeps increasing the chaos in the White House, it becomes a more and more attractive time for Russia to invade Latvia or other NATO allies, while the U.S. Commander in Chief is too distracted to do much about it.

If the GOP decides Trump is no longer useful, they'll start investigating him. But remember that Trump probably has huge dossiers of blackmail material on all these GOP guys, so if Trump goes, I'm sure he'll find a way to take his "betrayers" with him.

Not that I'd be all that sorry to see his enablers go...but again, the more chaos Trump creates on the way out, the more precarious the situation is for Latvia and the other NATO allies.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby morriswalters » Tue May 16, 2017 11:21 pm UTC

Given that only a limited number of people could have known what was said, if Trump is smart he has to know who the leaker is. Were there two or three hundred people in the Oval Office, or wherever they held this party? This kind of crap is what you get when it's amateur hour at the zoo. The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. Then Trump goes on Twitter and say that his people can't know what he said, because he's a chatter box. Make's his people look like the morons.(It could be that they are) I'd move to Canada if I wasn't poor.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue May 16, 2017 11:24 pm UTC

cphite wrote:As an organization? No. A couple of unhappy people with a political agenda - quite likely.
If this were true, we would expect the rest of the intelligence community to step forward and point out that these are the actions of a few unhappy people with political agendas -- and that they're endangering field agents via their leaks.
cphite wrote:First off, I am not defending Trump or his release of the information; I've said multiple times now that, if indeed he simply blurted something out to satisfy his own ego, that it was stupid. You apparently believe that it's impossible to disagree with Trump and also disagree anyone who's opposed to Trump; but that's frankly an issue too silly to even address, so I'll leave that for you to work out on your own.
No, I find it perfectly feasible to disagree with Trump while also disagreeing with people opposed to Trump. I just think you, specifically, are wrong.
cphite wrote:Second, I'm not suggesting that the CIA as an organization leaked the information, or that they don't care about field agents. What I am saying is that the specific people who released the information made a bad situation worse. I'm not sure if you think the CIA are robots or some kind of hive mind, or whatever, but it's entirely possible (and indeed quite probable) that the folks who leaked this information did so on their own accord.
Then where's the huge public outcry from intelligence agencies criticizing this leak?

They're not complaining about the leaks; you are. Why should I accept that you know more about this situation than the CIA, the NSA, the FBI? Why should I believe you're better at assessing the risk of these leaks to their agents than they are?
cphite wrote:In situations like this, you go up the chain. The main reason is not because you think someone is going to do something about Trump, but because you need time to assess the situation and act accordingly. So that you can, for example, actually attempt to warn the people in the field that they might be compromised before that fact hits the open news. So that, if necessary, you can speak to your foreign sources and smooth over the fact that information was released - instead of them finding out about it in the papers. So that, you can monitor communications to see if it actually does get back to the enemy that they've been breached, and how long that takes for that to happen.
Why are you presuming this did not happen? They could have done all that, then decided to leak the story once they were done.

Why is it your immediate presumption that this leak was done in a way that put the lives of field agents in jeopardy? Do you think it's impossible to leak information like this responsibly?
cphite wrote:And, maybe someone sits down with the president and politely, diplomatically, asks that he maybe consider shutting the fuck up once in a while.
I'm pretty sure that's already happened. Several times.

I'm also pretty sure it didn't work.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Wed May 17, 2017 12:31 am UTC

I'm sure by the beginning of next week Trump will be pretty close to his floor on approval ratings. I'm not sure what Republicans are going to do about it.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Wed May 17, 2017 12:43 am UTC

Should be an interesting trip to Israel in a few days (May 22-23, coinciding with Jerusalem Day, 50 years after East Jerusalem was captured in the Six Day War), if it's still on.

It's been rumored that Trump had planned to make "a major announcement" there, such as moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But relations with Israel might be a little tense right now. Trump and Tillerson were reportedly reluctant to let Netanyahu speak alongside him at Masada--maybe agreeing to that will help smooth things over.

[Edited to add this, from a Jerusalem Post article:

If US President Donald Trump leaked classified intelligence coming from Israel to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, does that mean his trip to Israel next week could – or should – be canceled? This is the question that some in the Knesset asked after reports on the leaks pointed to Israel as the source of Trump’s information.

While some people interpreted that speculation as an imminent dis-invitation, chances are, if it’s Israel’s choice, Trump will still be visiting next week.

After all, Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer immediately responded that “Israel has full confidence in our intelligence-sharing relationship with the United States and looks forward to deepening that relationship in the years ahead under President Trump.”

That doesn’t sound like a crisis brewing.

[...]

There’s another aspect of this story worth considering, which is that it’s about a leak to Russia regarding Islamic State. Israel already coordinates with Moscow on matters relating to Russia’s involvement in the Syrian civil war.

While the headlines from the US are dramatic, this may not be as consequential for Israel as it is to Americans who are worried about Trump’s ties to Russia.

That is not to make light of the fact that reports say an agent in the field may have been compromised by the leak, something that could put a life in danger and be very damaging to Israel’s ability to gather intelligence.

So it would certainly be wise for Israel to examine the leak and, behind closed doors, adjust its behavior according to the damage it did or did not do.

]

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed May 17, 2017 1:51 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Then where's the huge public outcry from intelligence agencies criticizing this leak?


The official message from any intelligence agency on any matter is pretty simple:

No Comment

Its incredibly rare for an intelligence agency to take a public stance on any issue. That's what made Comey's situation last year with Clinton so irregular.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed May 17, 2017 1:58 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:The official message from any intelligence agency on any matter is pretty simple:

No Comment

Its incredibly rare for an intelligence agency to take a public stance on any issue. That's what made Comey's situation last year with Clinton so irregular.
Inactive members are free to comment, though. And they have been.

Tonight, news has been filled with retired members of the intelligence community collectively losing their shit over this. Every interview basically amounts to them saying "Holy shit, what the fuck is wrong with Trump?". I've yet to hear a single member of the intelligence community -- active or otherwise -- give one single flying fuck over who decided to leak this story.

Anyone who reads this news story and thinks the important bit is that somebody blabbed about Trump leaking classified information to the fucking Russians has missed the point so spectacularly that I don't even think they're on the right plane of existence anymore.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Wed May 17, 2017 3:03 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
cphite wrote:As an organization? No. A couple of unhappy people with a political agenda - quite likely.


If this were true, we would expect the rest of the intelligence community to step forward and point out that these are the actions of a few unhappy people with political agendas -- and that they're endangering field agents via their leaks.


No. We wouldn't expect that at all. We would expect them to do exactly what they are doing, which is to decline comment.

In situations like this, you go up the chain. The main reason is not because you think someone is going to do something about Trump, but because you need time to assess the situation and act accordingly. So that you can, for example, actually attempt to warn the people in the field that they might be compromised before that fact hits the open news. So that, if necessary, you can speak to your foreign sources and smooth over the fact that information was released - instead of them finding out about it in the papers. So that, you can monitor communications to see if it actually does get back to the enemy that they've been breached, and how long that takes for that to happen.


Why are you presuming this did not happen? They could have done all that, then decided to leak the story once they were done.


They could have done all of that when? The Post had specific details of the meeting just days after it happened.

Why is it your immediate presumption that this leak was done in a way that put the lives of field agents in jeopardy?


The whole point of the outrage surrounding what Trump revealed is that it would potentially endanger assets on the ground and that it would anger whatever ally those assets belonged to. Tell me, which seems more likely to result in either of those outcomes: A) Some high-level members of the Russian government have the information; or B) The information is being broadcast worldwide on public news.

To put it in simpler terms: The whole reason the president was a fucking idiot for blurting this stuff out was that having it out there puts people in danger. You don't fix that problem by blurting it out to an even larger audience - especially if that larger audience includes the people you're worried about.

Do you think it's impossible to leak information like this responsibly?


A more responsible way of handling it would have been to go through channels, and give the agencies involved time to at least try to get their people out safely.

And then, when time has passed, maybe you consider going public. A few days isn't responsible.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Sizik » Wed May 17, 2017 3:31 pm UTC

cphite wrote: B) The information is being broadcast worldwide on public news.


Where? All I've seen are people talking about the fact that classified information was shared, not spilling the details on what was shared.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby morriswalters » Wed May 17, 2017 3:43 pm UTC

From the New York Times.
In private, three administration officials conceded that they could not publicly articulate their most compelling — and honest — defense of the president for divulging classified intelligence to the Russians: that Mr. Trump, a hasty and indifferent reader of his briefing materials, simply did not possess the interest or the knowledge of the granular details of intelligence gathering to leak specific sources and methods of intelligence gathering that would harm American allies.

Mr. McMaster all but said that publicly from the briefing room lectern.

“The president wasn’t even aware where this information came from,” Mr. McMaster said. “He wasn’t briefed on the source or method of the information either.”
I don't know that anyone can say one way or the other if anyone was put at risk. But that quote should frighten the hell out of you given the implications.


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