We're going to analyze one of the latest pieces of Bravo Sierra that they dare to call a news article about this 'Russian scandal' in the Trump administration so you can see why I don't trust them. You can read the original article here. Quotes from the article will be italicized and my response will be in plain text.
"President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State."Who are these 'current and former officials'? Why are they not named in the article? How would a former official no longer in the loop possibly know about what President Trump is doing in his meetings with foreign officials? Looks like there's a security breach being caused by a Sierra Bravo leaking things to the Press, not the President's big mouth.
"“This is code-word information,” said a U.S. official familiar with the matter, using terminology that refers to one of the highest classification levels used by American spy agencies. Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.”"
I used to work for the Federal government and had a VERY high security clearance. No one ever used the phrase 'code-word information'. That is something that this article made up to tell a story, not report actual facts. Either that, or someone is feeding the Washington Post some false information. I wouldn't put that past the Federal Government.
"One day after dismissing Comey, Trump welcomed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak — a key figure in earlier Russia controversies — into the Oval Office. It was during that meeting, officials said, that Trump went off script and began describing details of an Islamic State terrorist threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft.
For almost anyone in government, discussing such matters with an adversary would be illegal. As president, Trump has broad authority to declassify government secrets, making it unlikely that his disclosures broke the law.
White House officials involved in the meeting said Trump discussed only shared concerns about terrorism."
The President's meeting with the Russian officials was planned before he decided to dismiss Director Comey. You know that just as well as everyone else does. You are just using that coincidence to put some stink on the man and make him look bad. Politicians don't need some shitbag reporter to help them make themselves look bad. You also just admitted that President Trump can change classification of government data while also trying to make him look like a big mouth in the same damned passage. Did you not re-read and edit this article for tone and clarity at all? You're engaging in a lot of double-speak and making yourself look like damned fool.
There's nothing secret about a terrorist wanting to use a laptop to hack an airplane's flight controls and turn it into a remote-control bomb. Even a child with the most limited understanding of aircraft technology and some imagination could have figured that one out. I'd be genuinely surprised if that idea hasn't been used as a plot point in a movie or TV show like 24 or NCIS by now.
Also, since when was Russia our enemy? The Cold War has been over for more than 25 years, you partisan hacks! Get with the times! They may not be our best friends but, they sure aren't our enemy, either. You people have been trying to make the disagreement over Syria look like a war in the making for over a year now. That isn't going to happen. Quit going out of your way to scare people. Life is already frightening enough without any of your meddling, assholes.
"“The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation,” said H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, who participated in the meeting. “At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.”
McMaster reiterated his statement in a subsequent appearance at the White House on Monday and described the Washington Post story as “false,” but did not take any questions."
Despite being a government official, I am finding (now retired) General McMaster to be a LOT more credible than the Washington Post. That is really sad since the Washington Post is also the same paper that first revealed/investigated the Watergate Scandal. At least the General is giving me a straight answer and not claiming some anonymous, unnamed source. I get very suspicious whenever a news organization uses an unnamed source. That tells me that they have something to hide.
"In their statements, White House officials emphasized that Trump had not discussed specific intelligence sources and methods, rather than addressing whether he had disclosed information drawn from sensitive sources.
The CIA declined to comment, and the NSA did not respond to requests for comment.
But officials expressed concern about Trump’s handling of sensitive information as well as his grasp of the potential consequences. Exposure of an intelligence stream that has provided critical insight into the Islamic State, they said, could hinder the United States’ and its allies’ ability to detect future threats.
“It is all kind of shocking,” said a former senior U.S. official who is close to current administration officials. “Trump seems to be very reckless and doesn’t grasp the gravity of the things he’s dealing with, especially when it comes to intelligence and national security. And it’s all clouded because of this problem he has with Russia.”"
Again, WHO ARE THESE OFFICIALS?! I want names, dammit! And why are current officials talking to former officials that do NOT have a need to know what's going on in these meetings? That is a major OPSEC violation and should result in people getting fired, losing security clearances and possibly even criminal charges!
"In his meeting with Lavrov, Trump seemed to be boasting about his inside knowledge of the looming threat. “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” the president said, according to an official with knowledge of the exchange.
Trump went on to discuss aspects of the threat that the United States learned only through the espionage capabilities of a key partner. He did not reveal the specific intelligence-gathering method, but he described how the Islamic State was pursuing elements of a specific plot and how much harm such an attack could cause under varying circumstances. Most alarmingly, officials said, Trump revealed the city in the Islamic State’s territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat."
That whole exchange described tells me absolutely NOTHING about what kind of intel the Feds have or how they got it, either. For all we know, Trump might just be talking shit to play a mind game with the Russians through their ambassador here. After all, he is the supposed 'Master of 4D Chess'.
"The Post is withholding most plot details, including the name of the city, at the urging of officials who warned that revealing them would jeopardize important intelligence capabilities.
“Everyone knows this stream is very sensitive, and the idea of sharing it at this level of granularity with the Russians is troubling,” said a former senior U.S. counter-terrorism official who also worked closely with members of the Trump national security team. He and others spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the subject."
Way to cover your ass, Washington Post. However, I'm not buying that for one second. A 'former' official's name wouldn't have to be withheld unless he was doing something illegal. Considering that this guy is trying to get info on a current op and share it with the Press, chances are good that he is doing something illegal.
"At a more fundamental level, the information wasn’t the United States’ to provide to others. Under the rules of espionage, governments — and even individual agencies — are given significant control over whether and how the information they gather is disseminated, even after it has been shared. Violating that practice undercuts trust considered essential to sharing secrets."
In the end, there are no rules to espionage. You don't need to be 007 or a CIA hitman to know that... Dumbass.
Also, the agency isn't supposed to have control over the data. Elected officials are supposed to have control over the spy agencies and their data. Otherwise, the CIA would go rogue sooner or later. Considering how that agency has toppled or installed numerous regimes over the years, I really do NOT want to see what happens when they're completely out of control.
"The officials would not discuss details of those measures, but the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed that it is considering banning laptops and other large electronic devices from carry-on bags on flights between Europe and the United States. The United States and Britain imposed a similar ban in March affecting travelers passing through airports in 10 Muslim-majority countries.
Trump cast the countermeasures in wistful terms. “Can you believe the world we live in today?” he said, according to one official. “Isn’t it crazy?”"
So, everyone knew that Hajji was looking to use laptops to hijack a plane and President Trump was remarking on how that fact is so messed up and sad. Okay, why is that such an important revelation? How does that potentially endanger spies behind enemy lines? How does that compromise national security? What exactly was the point of this article again?
This kind of BULLSHIT right here is why no one believes you anymore, Washington Post. You really are a bunch of double-talkin' purveyors of FAKE NEWS.
"Senior White House officials appeared to recognize quickly that Trump had overstepped and moved to contain the potential fallout. Thomas P. Bossert, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, placed calls to the directors of the CIA and the NSA, the services most directly involved in the intelligence-sharing arrangement with the partner.
One of Bossert’s subordinates also called for the problematic portion of Trump’s discussion to be stricken from internal memos and for the full transcript to be limited to a small circle of recipients, efforts to prevent sensitive details from being disseminated further or leaked.
White House officials defended Trump. “This story is false,” said Dina Powell, deputy national security adviser for strategy. “The president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced.”"
Oh, so now you're going to finally mention a name of one of these 'officials' you're previously referred to in this article. I don't know why you waited until nearly the end of the piece but, it's nice to FINALLY see someone's name.
"Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said he would rather comment on the revelations in the Post story after “I know a little bit more about it,” but added: “Obviously, they are in a downward spiral right now and have got to figure out a way to come to grips with all that’s happening. And the shame of it is, there’s a really good national security team in place.”
Corker also said, “The chaos that is being created by the lack of discipline is creating an environment that I think makes — it creates a worrisome environment.”
Trump has repeatedly gone off-script in his dealings with high-ranking foreign officials, most notably in his contentious introductory conversation with the Australian prime minister earlier this year. He has also faced criticism for seemingly lax attention to security at his Florida retreat, Mar-a-Lago, where he appeared to field preliminary reports of a North Korea missile launch in full view of casual diners."
What did you people ask the Senator about that he wouldn't comment on, Washington Post? Why is he even mentioned in this article at all? Shouldn't a sitting Senator's remarks have been put at the beginning of the article to add an air of legitimacy to this story?
Also, the President doesn't have to follow any script. It's probably good that he doesn't. People can tell when you're reading a script and it annoys them. That's why I put the script in my own words when I used to work as an insurance adjuster handling auto claims in State Farm call centers. I didn't want the customer to feel like he wasn't important or that I was just going through the proverbial motions. A self-made Billionaire is going to have at least that much sense when it comes to dealing with anyone that might be an ally or business partner of sorts.
As for Mar-a-Lago... Well, I have mixed feelings on that one. It probably wasn't a good move to be dealing with the North Korea stuff right there in the restaurant with the Press swarming around. That being said, would any of the 'casual diners' as you describe them really know what it was they might have overheard from the President's table? How many were even around the President's table? Knowing the Feds like I do, I doubt there were any 'casual diners' within earshot of the President's table. The Secret Service would have ensured there was quite a wide-open space between President Trump and any civilians. They like perimeters, ya know. It makes their job of protecting him that much easier.
"U.S. officials said that the National Security Council continues to prepare multi-page briefings for Trump to guide him through conversations with foreign leaders, but that he has insisted that the guidance be distilled to a single page of bullet points — and often ignores those.
“He seems to get in the room or on the phone and just goes with it, and that has big downsides,” the second former official said. “Does he understand what’s classified and what’s not? That’s what worries me.”"
Again, why are you not naming this 'former official'? Also, I don't care about what worries him if he's just getting his info from secondhand reports and conversations with former co-workers. That is not a reliable source. I thought a 'Journalist' would know that... Also, the President, by your own admission earlier in this article, can change classification of data if/when he wants.
"Lavrov’s reaction to the Trump disclosures was muted, officials said, calling for the United States to work more closely with Moscow on fighting terrorism."
So, you're saying that Ambassador Lavrov didn't accept at face value what some politican was telling him? Sounds like a pretty smart guy. No wonder Vladimir Putin picked him to be the Ambasador to the United States.
"Kislyak has figured prominently in damaging stories about the Trump administration’s ties to Russia. Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was forced to resign just 24 days into the job over his contacts with Kislyak and his misleading statements about them. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was forced to recuse himself from matters related to the FBI’s Russia investigation after it was revealed that he had met and spoke with Kislyak, despite denying any contact with Russian officials during his confirmation hearing."
And only at the end do you FINALLY get into something about this 'Russia Scandal' that might actually be real. I'm not sure how much of it should worry me, though. Michael Flynn and Jeff Sessions talked to foreign officials all the time in their previous jobs. That's what you do when you're a high-ranking Federal official like a Senator. For all I know, their not mentioning the meeting with Kislyak might have just been an innocent mistake. Who can possibly remember every person they meet?
I've met Russian people before. You want to investigate me too? I'll tell you everything you want to know. The first time was a bartender that worked in several bars and nightclubs outside of my post in South Korea, Camp Stanley. She sat down with me and a few friends of mine outside of one of the restaurants frequented by American soldiers at this particular base. They were always kind to her because we all knew that she was sick and dying from AIDS. They didn't want her to feel socially isolated.
The second instance was actually a whole family of Russian immigrants that were the in-laws of one of my NCOs when I was stationed at Fort Detrick, MD. I met them several times when I was invited to this NCOs family dinners for Thanksgiving and Christmas. They were all very nice people and absolutely HATED Vladimir Putin. That was the reason why this NCO specifically asked me not to start political conversations at these dinners, which I wouldn't have done anyway. None of the conversations I had with these people involved any kind of military or government business. I never brought it up and they never asked. The only possible exception to that was explaining to them one Christmas that I was wearing my uniform to dinner because I'd have to return to the base early to lower the flag at post headquarters. Want any more details?
There is little, if ANY, attempt at journalistic integrity here. And to think that this paper is often a paper of record for the city of Washington, DC. How are future historians going to be able to figure out what really happened when they most likely won't have accurate sources of information?
My fellow Americans, I think it's safe to say that we (unfortunately) live in some very interesting times.
- Lord Publius