Self Inflicted Wounds II: Blinded, Deafened, and Definitely Dumb

In the street of the blind, the one eyed man is the guiding light

Genesis Rabbah (300-500 CE)

Five days before the inauguration I wrote:

Last week Yediot Ahronot reported, now confirmed by Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post, that Israel’s Intelligence Community has itself been warned to be careful sharing and transferring information and intelligence with the White House during the next Administration.

The concern is that any information and intelligence shared after the transition  will wind up with the Russians and the Russians would likely provide it to the Iranians (and the unspoken bit here for the Israelis is the Iranians would share it with the Syrians and Hezbullah). That this information quickly leaked from the Israelis is not an accident or a coincidence. It was intended to leak in order to provide the same message to our other allies and partners: that anything shared with the incoming Administration’s White House team may wind up with Russia. Through the Israeli leak the US’s other allies, partners, and clients have now been warned. This includes the other four members of the Five Eyes Intelligence alliance, the rest of our NATO allies, and other allies and partners. They have all been put on notice that the US Intelligence Community thinks that the incoming President, Vice President, their strategy, policy, and communication advisors, the incoming National Security Advisor and his deputies, and the rest of the incoming White House team cannot be trusted with classified information.

The Israelis have now had their worst fears confirmed.

SAN FRANCISCO — Two Israeli intelligence officials confirmed to BuzzFeed News Tuesday that Israel had shared specific intelligence with the US regarding ISIS plots to smuggle explosive laptops onto planes, under the unique intelligence-sharing agreement the two countries maintain.

“There is a special understanding of security cooperation between our countries,” they said. “To know that this intelligence is shared with others, without our prior knowledge? That is, for us, our worst fears confirmed.”

The officer previously spoke to BuzzFeed News in January, when he said that Israeli officials had specific concerns about what Trump would share with Russian officials. Israel, he added, routinely shared intelligence that included sources of information and asset names, he said — the type of information that could endanger the lives of those providing the raw intelligence.

“There has to be trust for this sort of arrangement. I cannot speak for Israel’s entire security apparatus, but I would not trust a partner who shared intelligence without coordinating it with us first,” said the officer.

A second intelligence officer, who spoke to BuzzFeed News via encrypted app and also spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Israel had shared specific intelligence with the US regarding an active threat to US-bound planes. Speaking to BuzzFeed News via a military base in northern Israel, he said Israeli intelligence officers were “boiling mad and demanding answers” as to whether Israel’s military would continue its current intelligence-sharing agreement with the US.

One of the reasons that this is so problematic is that by disseminating this information we have made it much, much harder for Israel to conduct human intelligence operations within ISIL’s demesne in Syria. This puts their assets (human sources) at risk – both Israeli and non-Israelis working with the Israelis in Syria. It makes getting this information and intelligence harder. It makes it less likely that Israel will continue to share timely, sensitive information with us. And our other allies and partners are now going to be less likely to share timely, sensitive information with us as well.

“It’s a big deal, and we want to make sure sensitive information is handled properly,” a European diplomat told CNN, adding that the country represented by the diplomat would not cut communications with the US entirely but could potentially reassess what information is transmitted at the political level.
The diplomat — who spoke to CNN on the condition that neither their name nor country were identified — said allied agencies could explore ways to share specific information through channels used only by military and intelligence officials.
Although pulling back “is something we could envision,” the diplomat said, “we’re not going to cut the cord.”
My concluding thoughts from January are even more relevant now:

…the US will have its ability to see and hear seriously restricted starting next Friday. We won’t be blind, as we’ll still have our own capability, but our vision will be significantly dimmed and our hearing significantly dulled. This will make managing and mitigating the foreign, defense, and national security problem sets that we are currently facing, let alone the ability to anticipate future ones, much more difficult. And this includes the ongoing Russian active measures, influence, and cyber operations directed at us, at our allies, and at our partners.

 

189 Replies to “Self Inflicted Wounds II: Blinded, Deafened, and Definitely Dumb”

  1. One of the reasons that this is so problematic is that by disseminating this information we have made it much, much harder for Israel to conduct human intelligence operations within ISIL’s demesne in Syria. This puts their assets (human sources) at risk – both Israeli and Syrians working with the Israelis.

    You mean the people working in neighborhoods where if you mispronounce the word tomato it could get you killed?
    Yeah, might be a bit of an issue going forward.

  2. I woke up this morning and just to psych myself up to get out of bed, I was fantasizing about Emmanuel Macron and/or Angela Merkel pulling Trump aside at the upcoming NATO talks and basically just saying, quietly: “You fucked up bad, Donnie boy. Expect an oppo dump. We have reams of intel on you,” and just walking away to let him sweat profusely.

  3. Well fuckity fuck fuck. Most of the Trump defenders I know online are still staunch in their support even knowing this, even in the face of what Erick Erickson posted, which tells me everything I need to know about them.

  4. The fucking shitgibbon understands none of this. He has no concept of loyalty, of discretion. He did this in part to feed his GINORMOUS ego.

    He has to go. One way or another, he has to go. He’s destroying this country’s reputation around the world, and at the same time doing irreparable damage to our national security.

    His moran followers think that this is great!

  5. It’s the dementia, stupid.

    Everything regarding Trump comes down to a med eval at Walter Reed. The Trump kids aren’t going to put country first so who’s left but the sycophants and lickspittles.

  6. We won’t be blind, as we’ll still have our own capability, but our vision will be significantly dimmed and our hearing significantly dulled.

    We’re going to be completely blind with human assets on the ground.

    Word is going to spread fast that Trump burns sources without a first thought, let alone a second.

    The CIA is going to have its hands full saving who they can before it all goes dark outside.

  7. TV news reporting chaotic White House scene with behind closed doors screaming match involving Bannon, Spicer, and other senior staffers.

    Rooting for chairs to be thrown.

  8. @Villago Delenda Est:

    He has to go. One way or another, he has to go. He’s destroying this country’s reputation around the world.

    Unfortunately the cure is likely to be almost as bad as the disease.

  9. Sad thing is the people most gung-ho about America always being the greatest best most perfect nation God has ever given Man on this Earth, fully support Trump, and do not understand how badly Bush, Jr damaged us standing in the world and how badly Trump is damaging it, in just four short ungodly hellishly excruciatingly long four months.

  10. @TenguPhule: The sooner we remove the tumor, the better the chances for the survival of the patient. It’s not going to be pretty, but it must be done. To not act is to invite, nay, encourage death.

  11. Remember that Trump is poised to use any terrorist attack on the US to attack the courts and consolidate his power. Destroying our intel capability is win win for him.

  12. @Adam L. Silverman

    Preview of the upcoming meeting with the Saudis:

    “Now, Mr. President, how about Yemen?”

    “No thanks, I’m full. When do I get to meet with that Lawrence guy?”

  13. @TenguPhule: I haven’t explained it to you for the first time. I have consistently and repeatedly said that we have to pull together to conserve and preserve as much as possible. To look out for each other. To do the little things to take care of and protect each other. And, if the chance arises to do a big thing to do so too. While the CI investigation and the criminal investigations run their course. I have never promised any of it will work. I have only been unwilling to give up on the idea that is America.

  14. but, but….. McMaster said it’s all lies! And he wrote a boook or something!

  15. August 8th memo. Now, not only will any info that gets thru be ignored or grossly misunderstood and/or utilized, we will be lucky if the asset decides to risk themselves by passing on the info to begin with. Putin should just go ahead and blitzkrieg and seize back the entire Eastern Europe front all the way to the Iron Curtain. Merkel should be seeking economic sanctions and seizing our assets in Europe as we are now supporting a terrorist state outright.

    All of these people who are willing to sell themselves so they can prove they are in control of the orange troll in the WH. They are willing to overlook treason because DJT needs to have his ego boost and prove that he is bigly better at foreign policy than the blah guy and Crooked Hillary. we are all well and truly fucked.

  16. @🌷 Martin:

    Yeah, I don’t know. People who I know who have a LOT of experience in treating the elderly and people I know who watched a parent descend into dementia tell me that it looks and sounds an awful lot like Dolt is in the early stages. It’s quite striking to see old interviews with him from the 80s and 90s and to hear him speak now. He was never a great orator, but his speaking has definitely deteriorated.

  17. Haberman and Thrush:

    In private, three administration officials conceded that they could not publicly articulate their most compelling — and honest — defense of the president: that Mr. Trump, a hasty and indifferent reader of printed briefing materials, simply did not possess the interest or knowledge of the granular details of intelligence gathering to leak specific sources and methods of intelligence gathering that would do harm to United States allies.

    There’s no context missing there. He’s too dumb to have done any real damage.

  18. @Adam L Silverman:

    I have only been unwilling to give up on the idea that is America.

    Most of us haven’t. Though it seems like the time has come for some frank conversations about who has and what to do about it. Because this “giving up” seems to be responsible for a lot of our problems on the margins.

  19. @Timurid: Martin, I really don’t care at this point if he’s just psychologically just crumbling from the stress, isolation and ego-damage, or if it is early-state formal dementia. He’s a freakin’ mess. There is no way, at least not yet, that Yurtle or Ayn will do anything to upset the tax cut goal. So he has to become so miserable that he resigns. I’d think this latest news cycle will have been quite the screaming breakdown in the Trumple zone.

    We’ll deal with Pence after that. Indianans (eh, Hoosiers) hated him fiercely, so I think it will be for him as well. One step at a time.

  20. @Adam L Silverman: Actually, isn’t it kind of good to have the secrets of everyone else’s most expensive weapons exposed? Wouldn’t that actually knd of put more pressure on the major powers to do something to kill off these barbarian hacker hordes?

  21. @Bnad: Let’s be real though, he’d try this and then immediately tweet something about how he was so smart to think of it. It won’t be bad for everyone because it succeeds (it won’t) but because of the aftermath.

  22. @Peale:

    Actually, isn’t it kind of good to have the secrets of everyone else’s most expensive weapons exposed?

    Only if you think ISIS and NK need a free peek at stuff that many countries worked very hard to keep under wraps.

  23. @Adam L Silverman: Ke-rist. That sounds very, very bad.

    @jharp: Bibi and his party did. They were constantly sneering at Obama, both due to their sneering relationship towards the US and a healthy dose of racism. I sincerely hope Trump is a wrecking ball to Bibi & Likud in Israel. They’re very toxic too. May the enemies of democracy fall into their own snares.

  24. @Raoul:

    So he has to become so miserable that he resigns.

    Not happening. Trump merely spreads it around. And he’s got a lot to spread with.

  25. This puts their assets (human sources) at risk – both Israeli and non-Israelis working with the Israelis in Syria.

    And they just don’t kill over there… they go out of their way to make it as ugly as possible…

  26. @TenguPhule: But what would they do with it if they knew it? NK, I guess would be a problem. But they already have information they need to build bombs. If they could build bigger bombs, they would. ISIS will never be able to do anything useful. Its like, fine, leak them information on how to build a nuclear reactor for an aircraft carrier. Let them get right on building the reactor.

  27. @Mike in NC: Last night twitter told me that they then turned the tv up loud, so waiting reporters could not hear them. Shortly afterward Sarah Huckabee Sanders came out and said no more news tonight. She was asked about the yelling, and she responded What yelling?

  28. @Bnad:

    Remember that Trump is poised to use any terrorist attack on the US to attack the courts and consolidate his power.

    Shades of The Lesser Bush, post-9/11.

    (Yikes! Why do I keep scaring the sh*t outa myslef?)

  29. @jharp: Bibi yes. The people to Bibi’s right? Yes. Bibi’s and the people to Bibi’s right’s paymaster Adelson? Yes. Israel’s intelligence community and military? Not so much.

  30. Further proof that we’re in old gypsy lady “may you get your every wish” curse territory. Netanyahu finally got his big, strong, Republican penisman president. How you like him now?

  31. @TenguPhule: You want me to lie to you? Do I professionally and personally believe we’ll come through this? Yes. Do I think we are in real danger? Yes. Do I think panicking will help? No I do not.

  32. This mofo on MSNBC really try to use PBO’s REASONABLE/NOT OUT OF THE ORDINARY actions to defend Donald Trump! SMH…

    Republicans really think just invoking the name “Obama” makes it seem like Trump didn’t do any wrong

    GTFO

  33. @Adam L Silverman:

    Do I think panicking will help? No I do not.

    I was under the impression that courage was the ability to keep functioning, no matter how scared…

    I got the scared part down cold… I’m really, really working on the functioning part…

  34. I just had a possibly illegal thought about what the Mossad’s response to this might be.

    Let’s just say that I don’t know how the smart money would bet on Secret Service versus Mossad…

  35. @JPL:
    @Thru the Looking Glass…:

    Cracked me up, I can just see Sean Spicer in Ninja gear saying “Don’t stop me, I can’t go back!”

    I think that’s the best joke I’ve heard in this entire seemingly infinite first few months.

  36. @JWR: The good news is that they have neither the personnel in place needed to pull this off, nor have they demonstrated anything close to the competency necessary to do so.

  37. @Bruce K:

    Let’s just say that I don’t know how the smart money would bet on Secret Service versus Mossad…

    Do you mean when the Secret Service detail all bend over to tie their shoelaces at the same time?

  38. ouch, this is going to leave a mark…

    “Frankly, we need an independent counsel to look into why I continue to do absolutely nothing in the face of mounting evidence against this reckless, unethical, and potentially compromised White House,” said McCain”

    http://www.theonion.com/articl.....igat-56026

    i see mccain just had some stern words about the russians. but i’m sure he’ll keep merrily agreeing that no investigations are needed, and will vote for whatever partisan shill is nominated for fbi director.

  39. @lamh36: Chuck Todd or Mike Leiter? Leiter knows his stuff. And he was a good NCTC director even if he couldn’t get everything in place to hire me like he wanted back in 2007.

  40. @Soprano2:

    Well fuckity fuck fuck. Most of the Trump defenders I know online are still staunch in their support even knowing this, even in the face of what Erick Erickson posted, which tells me everything I need to know about them.

    These people are convinced that the answer to all their problems is a strong white man. Trump was their wettest wet dream fulfilled. And now, having placed all their hopes and dreams in him, they can’t quit him. Cannot cut him loose.

    The Israelis were suckers for a slightly different, but complementary reason. Bibi and company must be sweating a bit right now. They foolishly thought that Israel would be safer with Trump in charge than they were under Obama, and safer than they would be under Clinton. Foolish, foolish.

  41. @Brachiator: The worst part of this is that Trump is about as far from “strong” as you could think. He’s an ignorant blowhard who never admits he’s wrong, but a huge part of the country really thinks that’s the manly ideal.

  42. @Mike in NC:

    TV news reporting chaotic White House scene with behind closed doors screaming match involving Bannon, Spicer, and other senior staffers.

    I see this as a good sign. It means that the GOP leadership is not conspiring to conduct a putsch. The GOP may be mired in treasonous activities but their goals are only loosely connected to Trump.

  43. @lurker dean:

  44. So MSNBC is really getting rid of Lawrence O’Donnell?

    So MSNBC is really going to the RWNJ side huh…filling that Fox News void…I was already NOT watching…Maddow & Joy Reid wasn’t enough!

    MSNBC/NBC news on air show talent:

    Joe Dead Intern Scar – GOP
    Mika Brezinski – Joe Dead Intern’s Girlfriend
    Nicole Wallace – GOP
    Greta Sustern – Plastic face…GOP
    Megyn Kelly – Evil hiding behind pretty face…GOP
    Matt Lauer – IDIOT…lean GOP
    Tweety – IDIOT..leans IDIOT…

    analysts…more GOP than centrist or Dem…

    FUQ MSNBC

  45. @Peale:

    But what would they do with it if they knew it?

    Vulnerabilities in Nuclear Systems?

    What wouldn’t they do?

  46. @lurker dean:

    “The fact that I essentially rubber-stamp this president’s agenda despite a reputation for integrity and independence simply doesn’t add up, and the time has come to find out once and for all what’s really going on with me.”

    At press time, McCain insisted that a special investigation was not necessary, a statement that McCain said only lent credence to his darkest suspicions.

    That’s some comic mastery there in that last line.

  47. I mean…the elected GOP almost to a man (and woman) are a bunch of traitors…smh.

    All for the 39% that still love Trump…”love my country” party…my azz…smh

    @TheLeadCNN
    The Trump administration reportedly revealed information to Russians that CNN was asked not to report http://cnn.it/2qOtgj9

  48. @Bill E Pilgrim: I think we’re ready for a big budget remake of either the Great Escape or Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid…

    Trump – You didn’t see Comey out there?

    Spicer – Comey? No…

    Trump – Good. For a minute I thought we were in trouble…

  49. @Adam L Silverman: I guess the key question is, come though with what?

    I mean, for example, Argentina didn’t actually dissolve as a country, but there were an estimated 6,000 desaparecidos, and having visited there a couple years ago, it seems the country is still well below the prosperity and status it was and could have remained without the years of turmoil and misgovernance.

  50. Wouldn’t that actually knd of put more pressure on the major powers to do something to kill off these barbarian hacker hordes?

    @Peale: Let me put this as gently as I can: if you have one computer in all the world, it will get hacked. Systems, computer or otherwise, always get hacked. It’s what we do as humans. You can no more stop it than you can stop people from breathing.

  51. @MisterForkbeard:

    The worst part of this is that Trump is about as far from “strong” as you could think. He’s an ignorant blowhard who never admits he’s wrong, but a huge part of the country really thinks that’s the manly ideal.

    Yep.

    He is the fantasy Great White Hope, which is often the case. But the fools who follow him might go all the way to their own doom rather than admit their mistake and course correct.

  52. @lamh36:

    Republicans really think just invoking the name “Obama” makes it seem like Trump didn’t do any wrong

    For a substantial percentage of their voters, it’s absolute truth.

  53. @HayesBrown
    Israeli intel sources tell @sheeraf they want to to stop intel sharing with Trump — but Bibi wants it to keep going

    Of course Bibi does…

  54. Short version of what Congress critter Jordan just said to Chuck Todd
    1. Hillary is guilty of everything regarding e-mails, Benghazi, and being alive in general
    2. Trump’ s actions well McMaster said it was no big deal so he isn’t to concerned. He is sure the congressional committees will get to the bottom of it (or was it sweep under the rug?)

  55. @Thru the Looking Glass…: I was just thinking of the Great Escape. I bet more than one of them has been thinking how can I tunnel out of here, directly into a job at FOX…. bouncing a ball against the walls…

  56. @lamh36: When Trump sneezes, Bibi gets a cold.

    I don’t think of TenguPhule as a panicker, he’s more like the guys in my neighborhood who customized a Bronco and call themselves a “Zombie Prep Brigade.”

  57. @mkraju
    Several senators say that the Trump-Russia discussion did NOT come up at the classified Senate Intel hearing today

    Because of course it didnt’…smh

  58. @Adam L Silverman: i saw that on twitter, glad the “patriots” are getting just recognition. i tweeted the onion article to mccain. because i’m helpful like that.

  59. @Adam L Silverman: Of course, neither would stop them from trying anyway. A failed attempt would still do enough damage to satisfy Russia and ensure a long line of copycats from the rightwingers unless they’re culled.

  60. @lamh36:

    FUQ MSNBC

    Hate to say I told you so.
    No I don’t. Gotta’ have some small victories to gloat about.
    You’ll get more benefit keeping your TV tuned to home shopping.

  61. @Brachiator: No small part of that was the expectation of TR-level swagger combined with Pat-Robertson-grade b8ners for Greater Judea (as a precursor to FundiEvangelist Armageddon, but never mind that part). tRump himself telegraphed this in his campaigning, saying (at times) that the US gave Israel too much aid, and that NATO, the EU, Japan and other allies need to step up and defend themselves. FSM only knows why Bibi et al thought themselves immune to Lord Dampnut’s random acts of sabotage, but apparently they did. Chances are Likes isn’t going to be too happy with the GOTea for a long time.

    As for the Health Eaters at home in the US, they won’t care until their own house burns to the ground. They have no idea what the rest of the planet looks like, so the suggestion that they have it worse than some isn’t believable to them. We’ll need something US-domestic that hits them where it hurts to make them get it – yet we’ve seen that neither Oklahoma City, West (TX), I-35, not the 2011 GA crop debacle moved the needle, so there’s no good indicator what scale disaster is required.

  62. @lamh36

    O’Donnell’s contract coming up for renewal. Get the impression it was a mutual decision as word has circulated for some time that he is not interested in renewing.

  63. @jharp:
    Israel did not but the Likud did. Nobody ever suggest that Israel’s version of the teabillys was righter than the US version

  64. @sigaba: Try having constant nightmares of nuclear holocaust for six months and see how sane you are then.

    I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since 11/9/16

  65. Hard to have any sympathy for Israel knowing they were warned. It wasn’t “Israel’s worst fears.” The Netanyahu regime probably considers this acceptable collateral damage for sticking it to pols who don’t kiss Likud’s ass.

  66. It just keeps coming.

    WASHINGTON — President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo that Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.

  67. (gnG’s sister reporting) I’m sorry for not blogging yesterday, but frankly there’s not much to report. gnG is now sleeping 95% of the time, although she did get up out of bed at about 2 AM before I could stop her. (She’s tethered by oxygen cannula and IV pain pump, so she couldn’t have gotten too far.) The only thing that might interest the BJ community is the discussion we had with hospice nurses over the use of oxygen to raise sats. One nurse favors it, one feels it just prolongs the very disturbing agitation phase. The family is left to make the decision. I couldn’t quite bring myself to lower her sats on purpose, although she might have preferred it. Dying at home is best for the patient, but my god, what a trial to the family.

  68. i said yesterday Trump Co. will use this trip to run away from the shitstorm to ride it out and the MSM will aid and abet them.

    the only thing that may stop em is if our overseas counterparts cause a ruckus

  69. NYT: Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation.

    President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo that Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.

    “I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.

    The existence of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia.

    Mr. Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, according to two people who read the memo. The memo was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence an ongoing investigation. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations.

    Mr. Comey shared the existence of the memo with senior F.B.I. officials and close associates. The New York Times has not viewed a copy of the memo, which is unclassified, but one of Mr. Comey’s associates read parts of the memo to a Times reporter.

    Think Comey is a tad pissed at Dear Leader? The phrase “root for injuries” comes to mind.

  70. @Doug!: I have what I’m assuming is his bar mitzvah copy of the marvelous four volume The World of Mathematics, so there’s that. (I picked it up in a used book store some years ago. I’d been looking for it for a while, so was going to buy it anyway, but was amused to see his little-boy-ische signature in the front of all four tomes.)

  71. So what the adults in the room will do is just compartmentalize intelligence they give to the orange bloated one so he no longer is exposed to information that the IC considers important, right?

    I mean we’ve already seen the reporting that the folks putting on the upcoming G7 meeting are reconfiguring everything to comport to the whims and attention span of a four-year-old.

  72. NY Times:

    President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo that Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.

    “I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.

    * * * *

    Mr. Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, according to two people who read the memo. The memo was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence an ongoing investigation. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations.

    Yes, he wrote everything down

    One of the things I recall about Watergate was that at some point it essentially turned into a competition between the WaPo and the Times to get the latest juicy revelation. This has that kind of feel.

  73. cool

    Comey wrote a memo about trump asking him to close the Flynn investigation in February

    can’t wait for tomorrows tweets

  74. @Raoul:

    I mean, for example, Argentina didn’t actually dissolve as a country, but there were an estimated 6,000 desaparecidos, and having visited there a couple years ago, it seems the country is still well below the prosperity and status it was and could have remained without the years of turmoil and misgovernance.

    One thing I recall about Argentina. Between 2012 and 2014, at the least, Argentina had a problem of its government economists deliberately and persistently lying about economic statistics, to such an extent that some international organizations were reluctant to make available loans and lending agreements at favorable terms. I don’t know whether they ever got their shit together.

    From a random Economist article from 2014.

    Similarly, underestimating inflation has had the effect of bloating the official calculation of GDP since 2007 (see chart). In September the government raised eyebrows when it reported suspiciously buoyant quarterly growth figures. That was despite the IMF’s warning and the fact that the official numbers could trigger a multi-billion-dollar payment to holders of GDP-linked bonds. The economy ministry’s forecast of 5.1% growth in 2013 exceeds that of most private analysts by more than two percentage points.

    This also extended to lies about societal problems.

    The official inability to face the truth extends to crime. The justice ministry stopped publishing annual crime statistics in 2009. In its statistics the health ministry has reduced the murder count by two thirds by subtracting “deaths from outside aggression, of unknown intent”, of which there were 3,124 in 2011.

    The problem for President Cristina Fernández is that her government’s statistical solipsism no longer washes with Argentines. This month a dozen provinces were shaken by police strikes (settled with wage increases of over 30%) and looting. Argentines know perfectly well that inflation, poverty and crime bear little resemblance to the official statistics.

    Lies and bullshit break down in the end. It’s too bad that here, Trump seems incapable of backing down from his delusions.

  75. @greennotGreen:

    Dying at home is best for the patient, but my god, what a trial to the family.

    Thank you for the update, and for everything you’ve been doing. But, please, don’t forget to take care of yourself as well.

  76. @Bruce K:
    I would vote for the Mossad, much more practice. I would be OK with the actual event even though it would be wrong.

  77. @TenguPhule:

    “Does it ever get easy?”
    “You mean life?”
    “Yeah. Does it get easy?”
    “What do you want me to say?”
    “Lie to me.”
    “Yes. It’s terribly simple. The good guys are always stalwart and true, the bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies, and everyone lives happily ever after.”
    “Liar.”

  78. From that NYT article:

    Mr. Comey created similar memos — including some that are classified — about every phone call and meeting he had with the president, the two people said. It is unclear whether Mr. Comey told the Justice Department about the conversation or his memos.

    Drip….drip…drip….

  79. @dmsilev: And Comey better be taking precautions. I know Adam said it would be a dumb move for Trump to try and silence him. But this is Trump, dumb moves are the only ones he knows.

  80. @Cheryl Rofer:

    “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey, according to the memo. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

    Jeez, that’s about as clear-cut as you can get.

  81. @Brachiator:

    Trump was their wettest wet dream fulfilled. And now, having placed all their hopes and dreams in him, they can’t quit him.

    ~sigh~ Reminds me of the way I misspent part of my youth, having succumbed to several years of unrequited Luv with a woman who clearly had no interest. Transferring this to Trump voters, I can tell you how hard these habits are to break.

  82. @greennotGreen: My sister-in-law took care of my brother at home, so I have some understanding what you are going through. I’m so sorry for your family. hugs

  83. @TenguPhule: Armageddon is both frightening and grandiose. It’s also a fairy tale with a strong moralistic dimension. Doesn’t mean it can’t happen but the world never works out precisely according to people’s fears.

  84. @Cheryl Rofer: From the Times “In a statement, the White House denied the version of events in the memo.”

    This should just be the banner at the top of Spicey’s Twitter page: “The White House denies the version of events reported.”

  85. @dmsilev:

    Mr. Comey created similar memos — including some that are classified — about every phone call and meeting he had with the president, the two people said.

    oh this should be good

  86. @dmsilev:

    I’ll bet trump is glad he brought up the possible existence of oval office tapes

    they may come in handy in the impeachment trial

  87. @lamh36: I fully expect the overseas press, and just the citizenry of Israel, Rome, and Belgium to be quite active.

  88. @sigaba: I’m within 50 miles of no less then four major military bases that I know are prime targets for a first strike or retaliatory strike. I know exactly what that means.

  89. @dmsilev:

    I often think of the time I spent with my mom the last two weeks of her life as my last gift to her, but it was terribly hard. Every little decision you make seems wrong, and you have to make them all.

  90. @randy khan:

    Yes, he wrote everything down

    Comey was a sanctimonious piece of work but by all accounts he was a highly competent lawyer.

  91. @lamh36: Hmmm. I have a single friend who might want to give McMaster a call if he’s available. Maybe we should look on Schiller’s phone.

  92. @SatanicPanic:

    And I’m sure it never occurred to Trump that Comey would make a record of their conversations. If nothing else, this proves that Comey is pretty smart, whether or not I like a single thing he’s done.

  93. @The Moar You Know:
    OK, this is an area I know. Two things. If you are careful and smart you will not get hacked unless a government wants you. Don’t click on shit in emails, don’t enter your password on sites went to when you accidentally clicked on shit from an email. Keep your damn system up to date. As big a pain in the ass as MS auto updater is if you had it enabled you could not have been tipped by the wanna cry ransomware.

    Now the rest: There is a hot war going on right now between China, Russia and the US. Each of those countries can own your system any time they want (hint: they don’t give a fuck about you, stop worrying). The Us has been very badly hurt (worse than they will admit) by the leaking of the NSAs secret tool kit (shadow broker). The Russians did that. They also did todays new Wikileaks dump of more zero-day exploits. Putin & his mob are stupid, they are destroying the counter-balance to Chinese work while doing nothing useful of their own. China is winning (may already have won) the cyber war. the US and Putin’s mob are screwed, they just do not see it yet because the money is rolling in & Putin is gaining power as the US is diminished. Great short-term strategy but in the end both us & him are screwed sideways.

  94. @lamh36: David Frum‏Verified account @ davidfrum 2h2 hours ago
    Reportedly O’Donnell’s firing offense was being too critical of Trump: awkward for Comcast’s other interests

    O’Donnell does not strike me as the type to go quietly

  95. @TenguPhule: Well, anyone with a bit of sense would have kept this sort of record after they read that TRUMP’S OWN ATTORNEYS met with him two at a time so they had witnesses. I’ve advised friends in difficult work situations to keep records and have done so myself.

    So yeah, no surprise.

  96. New headline at TPM: Trump asked Comey to back off Flynn, Comey kept a paper trail….

  97. It has got to be killing Bibi to have to say Trump’s blunder was no big deal. I can’t even begin to imagine his fury had Obama done this same thing.

  98. @Cheryl Rofer: I keep these kinds of records. Because it is my job to protect my teammates. Anything that I think might even be remotely relevant at some future time gets saved.

  99. @greennotGreen: i don’t know that there are necessarily any right decisions during difficult times like these, we just do what seems better at the time. having gone through home hospice with a family member, i wish you much strength and peace during this difficult time. as i’m sure has been said, please don’t forget to care of yourselves as you help care for gnG. i’m sure having family with her is such a great comfort, and i’m sure she knows you are all trying your best, even as you might question your own decisions.

  100. @greennotGreen: This sort of thing is NEVER easy…just no way it can be. I’m sending my most positive thoughts gnG’s way, and your way too, sis and family.

  101. @Brachiator:

    I don’t think it was about being safer. It was about Trump not calling them out on the illegal and immoral stuff they do, as Obama did and Clinton would.

  102. @lamh36: If I were Trump, after this, I wouldn’t go near Israel. Of course, Trump may well have already forgotten that he just burned an Israeli asset to impress his Russian handlers, so…

  103. @lamh36: And remember, it’s always projection with this crew. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a gay leather daddy, as long as you stick to consenting adults and use safe words when necessary.

  104. Dunno if this thread is dead, but I just saw this reader’s comment on Dana Milbank’s column today at the Washington Post. I’m wondering if Adam would agree about the thought that the president is not free to de-classify information that is not generated by our intelligence sources?

    This is my first attempt to use a block quote — we’ll see if it works.

  105. I tried (and failed) to block quote the following reader’s comment that I just saw on Dana Milbank’s column today at the Washington Post, so I’m trying again, without a block quote.

    Rebecca R 6:58 PM EST
    For all of those Trumpkins who continue to adore their “go-to straight shooter,” they do not seem to comprehend that what Con Man has done is to disastrously compromise a deep source of vital intelligence – and the information was NOT anything that Con Man “was authorized” to “de-classify,” because the information was NOT ours to divulge.

    I’m wondering if Adam would agree about the thought that the president is not free to de-classify information that is not generated by our intelligence sources?

  106. @NotMax: It’s safer to tell things to people in the business of printing them than to tell the the head of administration with the nuclear codes.

    And still McConnell denies, delays, and debates the gravity of the situation.

  107. @TenguPhule: Do you stand for anything? Your relish for disaster and difficulty makes it hard to imagine you as progressive. Just wondering.

  108. @Timurid:
    @🌷 Martin:

    He doesn’t have dementia.

    Citation needed.
    No kidding. I think, after dealing with 2 adults with dementia, (legally the person who had to make decisions for them) and because of that am examined regularly, that he has at the very least, the beginnings of it.

  109. @Adam L Silverman:
    Something, something, something…. about keeping calm while all those around you are losing it.
    Anger may help but I’d bet most of us have enough of that, panic doesn’t help at all, although it might not seem like a bad idea in the moment, no, what works is using the tools that we have to move forward as best as possible.
    Those who still think that dumpf is the best thing to come along in forever are lost and not recoverable, because they don’t want to understand, aren’t capable of understanding, and will fight with their tiny little minds not to learn how to understand or to acquire the information why he is such a disaster. IOW they aren’t any more capable than he is.

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