The Donald, it seems, is having a spot of trouble with our intelligence community. So as a retired member of said community, I’d like to offer some insights. Thus far, we have heard ex-CIA directors and other such high-ups go on the talk news circuit to denounce the president-elect’s stupidity. Me? Well, I was nowhere that high on the spook totem pole. Nope. I was just a staff sergeant in army intelligence who was charged with briefing local commanders in Iraq and investigation suspected cases of espionage; it was called MOS 35-L and I am proud to have served.
First off, I’d like to talk about The Donald’s refusal to attend intelligence briefings. Frankly, I never met a commander who didn’t want regular briefings. These briefings are tailored to the needs of the particular commander, and he or she often requests specific information to be included. Key intelligence is given in such a briefing detailing the disposition of hostile forces and other factors that affect the safety of American forces. Not knowing such things puts troops lives at risk and if a commander cares about his or her people at all they crave good briefings. To ignore such information is considered negligent, and if disaster should befall the troops said commander would be barbecued by a court martial.
For The Donald to simply blow off such hard-earned intelligence is cavalier in the extreme, and I am glad as Hell I never served under such a nit-wit.
Now, for the bigger issue, we have treason.
Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of foreign agents: witting and unwitting. The witting spy deliberately acts on behalf of a foreign power to weaken the United States in some meaningful way. Unwitting spies are simply dupes. These are people who have no idea they are being manipulated to undermine the United States and would be shocked to learn the part they have played. Often it’s the ego, being made to feel like they’re smarter than everyone else, that makes these shmucks as easy to play as Candyland.
Ladies and gentlemen…I give you, The Donald.
Trump is quite obviously a patsy. Putin seems to have infiltrated his inner circle in ways subtle and overt (his kids even took a vacation with Putin’s wife last summer for God’s sake!). Although I do not believe The Donald has received any marching orders from the Kremlin, he has accepted the Russian’s help (and stupidly encouraged them to help more). Since he hasn’t released his taxes we don’t know what business dealings he has in Russia beyond beauty pageants, but I would not be surprised to learn his investments there have been paying off unusually well. He openly admires Putin, and I expect the president of Russia plans to manipulate the insecure billionaire to best advantage for years to come. Remember, Putin is a ex-KGB officer. He’s an old spy who thinks like a cold warrior and this is exactly the kind of game spies play.
And now, thanks to Trump, Putin has played America.
By Clayton J. Callahan