Yesterday, I set out (at length, sigh) my thoughts about whether or not Trump is now simply using the US government to embed his own dirty dealings with Russia.
I read this story about Trump supposedly revealing classified information to the Russians, and wonder if we’re not all being played for fools. And whether, in fact, there are not games of coup and counter-coup, being played by all parties, and at levels that we can barely begin to understand?
Hmm. I think an explanation of double agency could be useful.
In the real spy world, you don’t gather useful information through satellites, bugging, or hacking. You use double agents.
Specially-trained and utterly dysfunctional assets who give information in order to receive it.
You then dump your guy or gal out into the cold. And tell ’em to go hunt.
At which point, they wave their merry ass in the air. And let everyone know that they are for sale.
They stay alive only because they are useful to everyone. And because no-one knows precisely who is the primary master or mistress of the double agent. Who is getting the most information. And which information is real, and which is misdirection.
It is a style of life where the word ‘stress’ is laughable. Double agents gather from everyone. They choose to whom to give. And what to give. They hold back, in order to give them a bolthole, if and when all goes wrong.
That is not to say that there are not truly secret assets, deeply embedded within other countries or ‘enemy’ non-state organizations like ISIS. It’s just not a very secure way of obtaining information.
So. The first possibility is that this whole story is nonsense. That there is no deeply-embedded source, who has been put at risk. Or ridiculously important information, which has been exposed. That there is some genuine and deeper game of national security double agency being played here, at the very highest levels.
Or not. In which case …
… if this allegation about Trump is, in fact, all quite real, and it is as important as everyone is alleging, then why are current and former US intelligence officials talking about this source and the information to the Washington Post, when the alleged conversation between Trump and the Russian Foreign Minister took place only last week? Er. Shouldn’t we be in ‘rescue’ mode, not ‘expose’ mode?
If the source is/was in danger, surely no-one should be talking about him/her at all?
If the existence of a source has been put in danger, surely no-one should be revealing the extent to which ISIS has been infiltrated? And surely not now? Shouldn’t this be one for the history books?
Or, is it just the information itself which is considered delicate? In which case, and without knowing the exact nature of the information (something to do with (from various reports) ISIS plots, laptops, airlines and/or the location of something). Surely, no-one should be exposing to the world what it is that we know? Or the fact that we might know it? Or how we might know it?
Who is doing the real damage here? Trump, the Russians, or the US Intel officers talking to the press? And isn’t this all strangely similar to that weird secret briefing by US Intel to then President Obama? The briefing that began this whole infatuation with Trump and Russia? A briefing which took place before Trump became President. Before (read this slowly), before it became clear that Trump might be a danger to national security because he had a loose mouth. When, if Trump truly represented a danger (as opposed to a nuisance), that danger, I repeat, danger, was posed by something already existing about Trump; not something that he might do with his mouth once in office.
What precisely is going on here? Why would US Intel knowingly step outside of normal security protocol (again), apparently to embarrass a President, who, frankly, has already made it quite clear he is not embarrassed?
A President who has already made it perfectly obvious he regards the Russians as his friends, and as friends of the US.
A President who feels he is permitted to do whatever he likes, in pursuit of his own goals, whether those goals are idealistic or nefarious.
Do the bodies civic of the United States, after barely more than 100 days, do they truly consider Donald Trump to be such a danger to US interests that they are prepared to put national security at risk in order to undermine Trump? And, is that alleged danger his mouth, or activities of Trump that pre-existed his Presidency? Whatever the alleged danger, if it is real, and not just ‘nuisance,’ then don’t we think it about time those bodies civic told us exactly what they think that danger is?
Or is it, in fact, the case that those bodies civic and certain Washington individuals merely hate Trump because they think he is an idiot? And, if that is what is actually at work here, then isn’t it time we told them to grow up? There was an election. The wrong guy won. Make it work.
Or, is this all merely another ploy by Trump and those supporting him to deflect attention? Is this all a grand political game of deliberate leak, disinformation, misdirection and double agency? And, if so, shouldn’t we be expending our efforts getting to the bottom of that?
Indeed, could this be a political counter-ploy, by those opposing Trump, using deliberate leak, disinformation, misdirection and double agency, just to pile on the pressure? Or … ok … hang on … yes … it’s official … I have a headache.
Who is the real villain here? Or are they all villains? Is this truly a matter of national security interest? Or just a game of political musical chairs?
Which pretty much comes back to two questions. As it did with that now notorious briefing to then President Obama. Who provided the Washington Post with their story? And why?
[Quick side-thingy. Just in case I need to explain why these are the only two important questions. The meeting between Trump and Lavrov was, apparently, ridiculously closed. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that a very, very limited number of people knew that this allegedly classified information had been transmitted. Senior people. So, it is also reasonable to assume that this information didn’t ‘leak,’ from an over-full cauldron. It was deliberately ejected from the smallest and tightest of tea-cups. On purpose. Hence, the two questions. What was the purpose?]
Those are the two questions any half-baked, half-witted political commentator should be asking today.
Answer them. And you likely have a clue as to who is playing whom in this devilish game of high-stakes, governmental double agency.
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