Skip to main content

We've never had to face this question before

President-elect Trump's foreign conflicts of interest raise questions about his being a security risk. But just as disturbing is his decision not to receive daily security briefings because he's "smart."

There are a lot of things about Mr. Trump's, shall we say, ample self-regard that are worrisome. But this is one of the most serious. There have been times when a president having had daily intelligence briefings has literally prevented nuclear war. The president must know everything the intelligence community has to present to him. There is no option. Moreover, he has to hear the details over and over because he cannot afford to forget any of them. He cannot go off half-cocked, as Mr. Trump is apt to do. The lives of billions of people and the safety of the nation and the world are at stake here.

In this article, John McLaughlin, former Acting Director of the CIA, addresses a question we've never had to face before: When does a president become a security risk? That we have to ask it now illustrates why despite how much I despise Hillary Clinton's stance on abortion and her likely Supreme Court appointments and a host of other things about her and despite the fact that I could never vote for her, I thought we'd be better off with her in the Oval Office than with Donald Trump.

 Had Hillary been elected, when the phone call came at three in the morning and her next decision could make the difference between peace and nuclear holocaust, we could have been certain that she would have been up to speed and would have acted with calm and sober deliberation on the best advice our military and political and diplomatic leaders could give her. She proved while she was Secretary of State how fallible her judgment could be. But if she made a mistake, it would not have been because she acted impulsively or because she lacked the information she needed to make the right decision.

We cannot be certain that Donald Trump will know what he needs to know because he won't let the intelligence community tell him what he needs to know on a daily basis. And as we know all too well from out past experience with him, we cannot be sure that he will not act not only ignorantly, but stupidly and impulsively because he hasn't let the intelligence community keep him up to speed.

The president stands at the top of the totem poll. Everybody is accountable to him. And if we can't count on him to act with discretion and with the best information available, there is no way to hold him accountable until the next election.

If there is still a world in 2020.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

McMullin, Kasich, Hickenlooper, Huntsman, or somebody else sane in 2020!

I don't expect to be disenfranchised in 2020. I'm looking forward to Evan McMullin running against President Trump and whatever left-wing extremist the Democrats nominate. McMullin may or may not run for the Senate next year, and he may or may not run for president as an independent again next time around, but the nation can't afford to lose its most eloquent and intelligent critic of the populist takeover of the Republican party and the Executive Branch. We need the man in public life.

But interesting alternatives have developed. Ohio Gov. John Kasich has been mentioned as a potential primary challenger for Mr. Trump. I hope somebody continues the fight for the soul of my former party, even though I believe it to be a lost cause. Entrepreneur Mark Cuban is reportedly also considering a challenge to Mr. Trump. While I tend to see him at this point as somewhere to the left of where a candidate I would feel comfortable supporting might be, I would wish him well. Still, I see…

A modest proposal for a shocking innovation which is completely within the rules but which would, if adopted, revolutionize college football

I call it defense.

The idea- crazy as it may sound- is to supplement the scoring of points by your offense with an attempt to stop the other team from scoring them. Yeah, I know.  Really "out there," isn't it? But it has a history of winning not only games but championships. Modern college teams should try it more.

I'm a bit bummed about the Rose Bowl outcome but amused by the score. It seems that certain conferences aren't sure whether they're playing college football or high school basketball! I've noticed that in the scores of Sooner games. Last season the nation's college teams set a record by scoring an average of slightly more than 30 points each per game. That's a lot. Historically, that's a REAL lot.

The final score of the Rose Bowl was 54-48, though to be fair that was in double overtime. But to get there, the teams had to be tied 45-45 at the end of regulation! Last year was even worse. Southern Cal beat Penn State 52-49- in regulat…

Reflections on the present and future of my Blackhawks

As this season from hell creeps to its close at an excruciating pace and makes all of us devote more of our attention to spring training for the Cubs than we otherwise might, there are calls for the heads of Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman and even the greatest coach in Blackhawks history, Joel Quenneville.

No general manager or coach could have made Marian Hossa and Corey Crawford healthy or prevented Toews and Keith and Saad from having the worst seasons of their careers or foreseen that a series of trades most of which made perfect sense at the time wouldn't pan out. The Hawks are one season removed from the second-best regular season in their history. This will be the first time in a decade that they haven't made the playoffs.

With the exception of the Pens, maybe the Kings and (for different reasons) the Golden Knights, every other team in the NHL would kill to have won three Stanley Cups in the past decade. In fact, only the Hawks, the Pens, the Kings, the Wings, and the Brui…