A couple of days ago, President Trump allowed that he had declassified all the material that led to the infamous “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation that eventually mutated into Robert Mueller and a dozen or so Democrat donors attempting the contrive reasons to take down the President of the United States.
In addition, to various Democrats and Vichy Republicans howling about the public getting to see too much, this is setting up a confrontation between the Attorney General and the Intelligence Community that could get ugly.
I *think* this is Dan Coats’ way of telling Bill Barr, “Tread carefully, buddy.” pic.twitter.com/kQJO2aIdVZ
— Nahal Toosi (@nahaltoosi) May 24, 2019
This is from Politico:
President Donald Trump’s declassification order Thursday night has set up a showdown between his own Justice Department and the intelligence community that could trigger resignations and threaten the CIA’s ability to conduct its core business — managing secret intelligence and sources.
My first thought is, let as many of these cretins quit as want to. Pull their security clearances. Let them work for a living.
“There’s nothing CIA or NSA, for example, guards more jealously than sources and methods,” said Larry Pfeiffer, a 32-year intelligence veteran who served as the chief of staff to CIA Director Michael Hayden. “It is not hyperbole to say that lives are at stake.”
“I doubt any of the [CIA directors] or [directors of national intelligence] that I worked with would have sat by silently if their president contemplated or made such a decision,” added Pfeiffer, who also served as senior director of the White House Situation Room.
And if intelligence chiefs and Barr disagree on what to reveal, Trump retains final say.
“Does an agency head or the DNI have any recourse? Sure — a direct appeal to the president … or threatening to resign over a bad decision,” Pfeiffer said. “Neither is good governance.”
Do you know what else isn’t good governance? Monitoring the communications of a presidential campaign and a president’s transition team.
Let’s not fool ourselves here. The intelligence agencies are just as concerned about protecting their turf…and covering their asses in the wake of a failed coup d’etat…as they are about keeping the nation safe. In fact, often the aggrandizing of power and authority to an intelligence agency seems to have priority over keeping the country safe. They resist oversight and drum up bogus secrecy claims to wrap their malfeasance and misfeasance in security classifications. See How Department Of Justice And The FBI Are Using Bogus Secrecy Claims To Protect Their Own.
Anyone with a speck of sense knows that there are no sources and methods at risk here. There are no lives at stake. This is a banal case of political espionage combined with political dirty tricks that went viral. There are no agents in foreign countries at risk here…at least I don’t think the Brits are going to disappear Halper and Downer and Misfud over this. And if using the opposition research material paid for by the Clinton campaign based on uncorroborated rumors gathered from an enemy of our country is classified as either a source or method, then the IC is a lot more screwed up than even I had given them credit for.
For way, way, way too long we have given the intelligence community and the FBI some kind of demigod status where we’re supposed to quiver in fear if they are unhappy or threaten to quit. These people, in particular the senior ranks in those agencies, need to learn that they are employees of the taxpayer, they are not the policy makers. Policy makers are either elected by the people or appointed by people who are elected.
In this case, a credible claim exists that Brennan and Comey and Clapper conspired to try to bring down the US president. That claim must be investigated and the result of that investigation must be made public to the greatest extent possible. If it requires accepting the resignations…or having security escort out of the building…a few dozen Democrat activists who have burrowed into the intelligence apparatus, well, that’s a small price to pay. And I think Bill Barr is perfectly willing to pay that price.