*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
One doesn’t have to be an atheist to know there is no such thing as a human being with supernaturally-endowed prophetic gifts; even the legendary Nostradamus’ ‘prophecies’ have been regularly debunked. However, there is such a thing as informed and observant humans making very highly-educated guesses based on mounds of prior knowledge and experience about a particular topic or trend. After hearing one big-time wrestling and television reality show celebrity run his pathological big mouth over the past year, there were several ‘expert’ predictions in the form of warnings that allowing Donald J. Trump to have access to any intelligence or national security briefings may be an incredibly dangerous and horrible idea.
Those fears were realized, and the results were heavily criticized, this week when intelligence and national security officials expressed shock and awe that, like the big time wrestling caricature he really is, Donald Trump couldn’t resist running his big loud mouth about national security briefings he received. It all occurred during the Matt Lauer misogyny hour (CiC forum) with big mouth Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The idea of a presidential candidate even mentioning anything about the intelligent briefings was incomprehensible to the intelligence community and several officials “blasted” Trump’s comments made during the Commander in Chief forum earlier this week.
When misogyny Matt asked Trump whether he learned anything during his security briefings, things he didn’t know or that might make him reconsider his bizarre campaign pledges such as his solemn promise to swiftly annihilate the Islamic State (Daesh, IS, ISIS, ISIL), Trump said, “No, I didn’t learn anything from that standpoint.” Of course he would never admit he learned anything; he regularly claims to know everything about everything, including knowing more about the military and war than America’s generals. What he did say that elicited the ire and disbelief of intelligence and national security officials was:
“I was very, very surprised. In almost every instance, and I could tell, I have pretty good with the body language [sic], I could tell, they were not happy. Our leaders did not follow what they were recommending.”
Of course Trump would say he is “pretty good with the body language;” he regularly claims that only he, Donald J. Trump, is the be all, end all expert of everything else under the Sun. However, his bovine excrement “body language” statement was eviscerated by real national security and intelligence experts.
For example, Michael Morell, the former CIA director reiterated a point of proof that Donald Trump lacks even a rudimentary understanding of how classified intelligence works. He said:
“This is the first time that I can remember a candidate for president doing a readout from an intelligence briefing, and it’s the first time a candidate has politicized their intelligence briefing. Both of those are highly inappropriate and crossed a long-standing red line respected by both parties. To me this is just the most recent example that underscores that this guy is unfit to be commander-in-chief.”
One of the former CIA officers who had the pleasure of delivering daily intelligence briefings to high-ranking members of the George W. Bush administration, David Priess, said “This is unprecedented. We’ve had other presidential candidates mention that they got a briefing and talk in platitudes about it. We’ve never had somebody talk about what happened in a session.”
Mr. Priess’ statement was backed up by another former high-ranking Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst, Paul Pillar, who said that it was impossible for Trump to have read anything in the spies’ body language “because doing so would have represented an inconceivable violation of training and tradition;” a fact that was backed up by several former U.S. intelligence officials. As Mr. Pillar said,
“Those selected for this task would have been the most professional of an elite corps of intelligence officers. The last thing they would do is express either verbally or through body-language preferences about candidates or policy.”
The intelligence officials did say that although during the briefings there were no secret body language signals sent to Trump by what are effectively highly-trained spies, those “accused briefers are likely muttering quietly to themselves and shaking their heads at one of the presidential candidates now,” and it is certainly not Hillary Clinton. The Washington Post reported that members of the intelligence community are outraged at Trump and said “he had absolutely no right to disclose anything he learned in a briefing.”
“The assertion was delivered as a throwaway line during a lengthy discussion of foreign policy. But among U.S. intelligence officials, Trump’s claim amounts to an accusation of a serious breach of professional ethics.” (author bold)
The spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the agency which is responsible for overseeing presidential candidates’ briefings, declined to comment and it is certainly in keeping with “part of the professionalism” typical of the intelligence community who comprehend that keeping these things “thoroughly private” is of paramount importance. Many U.S. Officials had expressed major concern that besides running his mouth, the acerbic Trump would be abusive towards the experts responsible for delivering up the intelligence briefings. Thus far, those officials’ concerns about Trump being given access to security briefings have not come to pass, at least not yet.
Mr. Pillar, the real CIA intelligence analyst said, “There will be other opportunities to be abusive — the higher priority now is to cast a negative light on his opponent.” He also related that the intelligence and national security briefers’ reaction to Trump’s phony depiction of their session involved “shaking of heads and rolling of eyes, but part of the professionalism is to keep that thoroughly private.”
The Washington Post felt it was important to report and reiterate an obvious bit of history: “Officials said it was the first time they could recall a presidential candidate providing a readout of a briefing he had been given, let alone exploiting it to make a political point.” It is also the first time a pathological megalomaniac and television celebrity was a presidential candidate and likely why there was no shortage of concern over an egotistical loudmouth like Trump being privy to any kind of sensitive national security information.
What is telling about the main stream media’s advocacy for Donald Trump is there was hardly any reporting about the intelligence officials damning indictment of Trump revealing anything whatsoever about his experience, albeit a lie, during security briefings. It is also telling that misogyny Matt (Lauer) specifically asked Trump a question that allowed him to espouse his ‘body language’ expertise during those briefings, portray the intelligence community as critical of their Commander in Chief, and accuse high-ranking intelligence experts of sending secret body signals to a loud-mouthed big-time wrestling celebrity. Donald Trump has no more right to national security intelligence briefings than Russian President Vladimir Putin who probably received a recounting of the briefing from his BFF and big-time wrestling loudmouth Donald J. Trump.