Target on their backs: Trump outs the members of Seal Team Five
Remember the warnings our intelligence agencies gave to our allies before he took office that he has no filters and can't be trusted not to impulsively blurt out secrets in order to make himself look good?
Well, he's done it again. Mr. Trump has tweeted a video of himself and his wife shaking the hands of members of Navy Seal Team Five during his trip to Iraq. Not only did he thereby reveal where they were stationed, but he also did something worse: he revealed their identities.
Our Special Operations forces are the people who do our most sensitive military operations, like killing Osama bin Laden. There are lots and lots of people who would like to take personal revenge against them. That's why publicity and news broadcasts always have to blur or otherwise distort their faces whenever they appear on camera.
Except by order of the Commander-in-Chief, when he wants to put their faces in a tweet that Islamic militants, the Chinese, or anybody else who might want to use to identify these people either in order to harm them or their families or to backtrack their movements to gain all sorts of useful intelligence about past deployments.
This comes shortly after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, one of the last remaining voices of experience, reason, and common sense in this crazy administration, resigned in what was apparently a pointedly-worded letter over Mr. Trump's decision to advance the agenda of his authoritarian buddies Putin and Erdogan and Assad by pulling American troops out of Syria. Mr. Trump, in a classic narcissist move, promptly fired Gen. Mattis two months before his resignation would become effective.
All of this underscores the primary reason why I could not support the guy in 2016 and have opposed him ever since despite my adamant opposition to Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. Yeah, in some respects- protectionism and isolationism being two- he's irrational on policy matters. Sure, he's a demagogue whose whole political agenda is based on playing to people's prejudices, ignorance, and fear and has shown a willingness to reverse just about every political position he has ever taken the moment it becomes politically advantageous. But above all else, the man is a danger to our national security. He has no filters, and everything else takes a back seat to his own ego. Despite his rhetoric about standing up for American interests, the bottom line with this guy is making himself look good.
I don't understand how so many people can remain blind to this guy and remain in political thrall to him. To be sure, there are lots of Republicans who privately know how bad he is and who wince every time he pulls a stunt like this. But I might as well be frank about this: just as the country's welfare is a distant second to the momentary demands of his own ego where Donald Trump is concerned, for most conservative journalists and politicians the nation's welfare is a distant second to defeating the Democrats and frustrating the liberal agenda.
Hey. In many respects doing that is an excellent idea. But not at the risk of endangering our national security.
I personally am surprised that a man with Donald Trump's record of personal corruption and instability managed to wheedle his way into the Republican nomination, and that even being opposed by a disaster like Hillary Clinton was enough to get him elected. I am even more surprised that he hasn't been impeached or removed under the 25th Amendment by now. I don't know whether he'll survive in office until 2020, though I have no doubt that he'll be denied re-election if he does; if the American people re-elect him, it will be conclusive evidence that America is done for and that there simply is no hope for us. And one of my greatest fears is that the Democrats will nominate some kook who once again distracts the attention of the electorate from the danger Donald Trump literally poses to the Republic every moment he remains in office that the focus of the campaign is anything else.
But at this point, it ought to be clear to anyone not willfully in denial that the man is not fit to be president and needs to be replaced. Say what you want about Mike Pence, but he never would have outed the identities of Navy Seal Team Five in order to tweet a video of him shaking their hands.