If this doesn’t cause your blood to run cold…
Donald Trump, the arrogant, uncensored, late night fever-tweeter, will soon have access to sensitive, classified intelligence briefings.
Former intelligence officials, some of whom once provided similar briefings, told CNN that the qualities that have propelled Trump to the top of the Republican ticket — a swaggering stream-of-consciousness speaking style peppered with off-the-cuff zingers — are exactly the traits raising alarm. They worry that the New York real-estate mogul may not have the temperament or experience to handle sensitive security information with discretion.
Why wouldn’t they worry? There is nothing in Trump’s demeanor, especially over the last year, that should give any thinking citizen a sense of security, knowing that this gilded toad will be in possession of national security secrets, that could have damaging effects, should they leak into the wrong hands.
However, the Democrats offer no better of a solution. Their frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, is currently under investigation, due to her blatant mishandling of classified information.
David Priess, an ex-CIA officer pointed out that Trump has never been responsible for top-secret information, nor has he been in a position to have to determine what stays inside a room where that top-secret information is given, as opposed to what can be shared.
But Priess and other former officials say the initial briefings presidential nominees get from career intelligence officers, while classified, won’t include the most sensitive details contained in the President’s Daily Briefing. That summary of the world’s crises — once dubbed the “pickle” and now known as the PDB — has its roots in World War II and has been evolving ever since.
On Wednesday, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stressed the intelligence community’s impartiality at a Bipartisan Policy Center event in Washington, D.C., when asked how briefers might try to shape Trump’s world views, particularly his highly criticized December proposal for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
“The question implies that we have a separate message for each candidate and we do not,” Clapper said.
Clapper went on to insist that there is no partisan divide, when it came to the information that was given. Great pains are taken to assure that candidates from each party, once those candidates are known, get the same information.
Bruce Riedel, another former CIA officer, stresses that no information is given that could give any candidate an unfair advantage during campaigning, and describes the information given as being “vanilla” in its content.
This is of little comfort to those who’ve watched in horror, as Trump has trampled on any markers of tradition or commonsense.
Elections have consequences. The thought of Trump with any real power in his hands is petrifying.