Secrecy 1/23/17

http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/10/04/reviews/981004.04tanenht.html

I read Moynihan’s book, back then. I don’t remember what I read, in detail. So I dug up the above linked review from the NYT as an easy reference. I do recall that it was entertaining, but infuriating, to the point where all I could do was laugh when I learned that Gen. Bradley did not tell Truman what Army Intelligence knew about Alger Hiss, even though the two Missourians liked each other and even went fishing together. This, because it was an Army “secret”.

I heard a report this morning that Flynn is under CIA investigation for his Russia ties. Also, that the Trump campaign is under investigation, for the same.

How awkward. If CIA develops classified information that implicates Flynn they must report it to the President, right? Or do they make a “need to know” assessment of some sort? And what if they determine, correctly or not, that Trump has questionable ties to the Kremlin, that color his national security decisions in a way that compromises American interests? Do they go to their Congressional oversight committees first? I suppose that would be my choice if I were the Agency.

To be clear, I think the con artist we elected is just that – merely a clever con man, not a traitor.

11 Responses

  1. I think he is a dupe who is being either explicitly or implicitly blackmailed. Even if there are no compromising photos or videos, his financial entanglements with shady Russian (a redundancy) oligarchs makes him a direct national security risk.

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    • YJ, so far we are speculating, but I think it is fair to infer that the ties he made scrambling out of multiple bankruptcies in the 90s by “selling” to the new money Russian kleptocrats [the one trail I know about is the Trump Tower deal in Toronto] may well have compromising echoes. He left those investors high and dry just as he has done so many others – but those guys are “connected” in a way we used to reserve for the Mafia.

      I could imagine many scenarios in that light. One of the Trump sons claimed large sums of Russian investment in about 2007. Maybe that was all Toronto. IDK.

      JNC, I hope that they can report to their oversight committees, first.

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      • Caught up in the news of Bannon’s appointment to the National Security Council is this tidbit:

        Trump also said the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and the director of national intelligence, two of the most senior defense chiefs, will attend meetings only when discussions are related to their “responsibilities and expertise”. Barack Obama and George W Bush both gave the men in those roles regular seats on the council.

        One wonders which national security issues are unrelated to the work of the DNI and the CotJCoS.

        I hope Congress takes note.

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    • yello:

      I think he is a dupe who is being either explicitly or implicitly blackmailed.

      It sure would be useful right about now to have a system in which power was disbursed among different branches of government as well as among the several states rather than being concentrated in the executive branch headed by a single person subject to being explicitly or implicitly blackmailed. What were the Founders thinking?

      Liked by 1 person

    • “his financial entanglements with shady Russian (a redundancy) oligarchs makes him a direct national security risk”

      Why does this make him a national security risk? What’s he likely to do? And because why?

      The same argument could be made with anybody who has interests, business or otherwise, that a foreign government could somehow threaten or influence. Anyone who ever had a mistress, and affair, a favorite relative with insufficient security . . . there are potentially dozens or even hundreds of leverage points for any president. Donald may have more of them, but he seems the least likely to care about any of them of any president I think we’ve ever had.

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  2. “How awkward. If CIA develops classified information that implicates Flynn they must report it to the President, right?”

    They can go to the oversight committees as you note.

    Liked by 1 person

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