Sunday, August 28, 2022

Today's News: What a week!

Beginning with a wonderful palate cleanser: A short stop at today's Globe and Mail: At this point, Bell Media will have to offer LaFlamme the National News vice-presidency before this controversy will be quelled. And I would be fine with that.
Moving to today's news, first here is a great cartoon illustrating the trolls Canada is dealing with these days:

Which one of these characters would be that guy from Grande Prairie who cursed at Chrystia Freeland yesterday as she was getting into an elevator? 
The portion of the video after he had been kicked out of the hotel shows he was just so very pleased with himself, so absolutely delighted to "own the libs".  Everyone is pointing and laughing at him now, but we're also acknowledging that this kind of behaviour is unhinged and possibly dangerous:
Canadian politicians from all parties are also speaking out against this - even Conservatives, albeit with a little nudging: Canadians were shocked and angry, and thousands tweeted support for Freeland: Class:  Moving to the Trump Treason scandal, here are some more great cartoons:

Shocked and appalled on Friday and Saturday, the United States is beginning to understand that Trump actually, really, seriously did betray them:
Here is the unroll of an important thread by David Rothkopf
Trump has always had a deeply troubling relationship with the US intelligence community. At his initial briefings as president, he was uninterested in key revelations and instead used the meeting to press officials for a public denunciation of the Steele dossier. 
Days later, immediately after taking office, he gave a highly political speech at CIA headquarters that, in the view of former DNI Gen. James Clapper and many others, "desecrated" the memorial to former CIA employees. 
He regularly discounted Intelligence Community views, particularly on the issue of Russian interference in the 2016 elections and the threat they posed to future election security. 
He revealed classified information to Russian officials in the Oval Office. He released classified information via the Internet. He insisted people including his family be given security clearances when it was urged by professionals that not happen. He publicly threw the US IC under the bus during his Helsinki press conference after his mtg w/Putin. 
He forced out senior intelligence officials who he felt were insufficiently loyal to him and replaced them with unqualified political hacks he felt he could manipulate and use to protect him from IC revelations that he saw as threatening. 
He used the classification process to keep politically damaging information (like notes of the Ukraine blackmail phonemail) from the public view. 
And as we now know, he stole and improperly handled massive number of highly classified documents. We still don't know how many. We still don't know why. We just know that doing what he did was not simply an act of ignoring the law, it directly put at risk US intelligence assets and US national security.
This is not a story about documents. It is a story about a man with years of proven contempt for our intelligence community and disregard for their well-being and that of the country violating the law in ways that could profoundly compromise our security and threaten the lives of individuals who were serving the US. 
We have never seen such behavior from a senior US government official, much less a president. And we are only speaking of what we know. 
Why was he so threatened by the intelligence community all along? Why did he feel they knew things about him that could be damaging? Was it just consciousness of guilt due to his active solicitation of the support of a foreign enemy during the 2016 election? Was it more than that? What is it we don't know? What did he seek classified that he should not have? What secrets went missing before this point? 
What were the consequences of the apparently voracious appetite for secrets his son-in-law Jared Kushner had? Why was he so actively interested in them? 
What were Trump's motives in taking secrets and obstructing the USG efforts to have them returned? What happened to the documents while they were in Trump's custody? Do we have all the documents back? Were there documents stored at places other than Mar-a-Lago? 
What did he get his lackeys to do when they ran the IC? What were his plans for them were he to be reelected? 
These are not "political" questions. These are questions that must be answered to understand what damage Trump and his inner circle may have done to our intelligence community, our intelligence assets worldwide, their safety and our security. 
What we do is this: The same man who undertook this assault on US intelligence, led an attempted coup against the US government, attacked our allies, sought to gut NATO, sought to empower our enemies. This is not hyperbole, not speculation. This is the reality of the Trump presidency. 
It must be seen for what it was and the man at the center of it must be seen for who he was and is--one of the greatest, most pernicious threats to US national security we have ever seen.

No comments: