Everyone is talking about the ascent of Steve Bannon to the top of Team Trump. Yep, that's now the contest facing this country: The Breitbarters vs. civilization.
We'll return to all of that soon.
Right now, I want to talk about Trump's security briefing, which he attended with Governor Christie and Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former head of the DIA. Why Christie? Perhaps because Bridge-gate proves that he knows how to keep a secret.
(By the way, it seems quite likely that Flynn was Joe Scarborough's source for the revelation that Trump has an unhealthy hankering for nukes.)
Obama's warning to Trump not to go blabby
was unprecedented. No other candidate has ever had to receive a public admonishment of that sort. Moreover, there was something in the way
Obama said it that led me to suspect that something was up.
Many now believe that Trump has a working relationship with Putin. (Suggested new Trump slogan: "Make America bolshoy
again!") So the question is not just "Will Trump blurt out secret intel in public?" but "Will Trump tell America's secrets to the Russians?"
As one of my readers pointed out, this brings us to Molehunting 101. The classic technique to identify a security risk is the "marked card" -- you pass your suspected mole a document with incorrect information and then see if that same deceptive data-chard gets passed along to the opposing intelligence service.
Here is where it gets very weird. And very clever.
The "marked card" can be something very small -- a personnel file with an incorrect birth date, for example. But the "ringer" can also be something quite large. One way to entice targets into exposing themselves is to let them think that they have gained access to a truly astounding and mind-boggling secret.
I have reason to believe that UFO information -- fake
information -- is one tactic that has commonly been used to identify risks.
This idea formed in my head many years ago, when I had tea with two sweet older ladies. One of those ladies was the widow of a famous physicist (and former cryptographer) who had done much work for the government and who had a high clearance. The physicist became well-known for his interest in UFOs -- an interest spurred, in large part, by secret documents made available to him.
During our pleasant chat, the widow revealed a startling fact that has never been published: She had belonged to the Socialist Worker's Party
and made no secret about her political leanings. Although I said nothing, the thought struck me: Wouldn't that association affect her husband's security clearance?
Perhaps (I reasoned) the wife's left-wing politics was the reason why
her husband was shown secret documents pertaining to UFOs. Perhaps molehunters wanted to determine if he would pass those documents on to his supposed handlers in Russia.
Long story short, that tea-time chat is just one
reason why I now believe that fake UFO information has been used for half a century in counterintelligence operations.
In other words: Don't be surprised if Donald Trump starts to say some really weird shit. Weird even by Trump
On the other hand, maybe he won't.
The big problem with the scenario I've just outlined is this: Lt. Gen. Flynn will be on hand to tell Trump how to interpret what he sees. I'm not quite sure what to make of this Politico story
Earhardt followed up by asking whether Trump trusts "intelligence."
"Not so much from the people that have been doing it for our country. I mean, look what's happened over the last 10 years. Look what's happened over the years. It's been catastrophic. And, in fact, I won't use some of the people that are sort of your standards, you know, just use them, use them, use them, very easy to use them, but I won't use them because they've made such bad decisions," said Trump, who will also be joined by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at the inaugural briefing. "You look at Iraq. You look at the Middle East. It's a total powder keg. It's a — if we would have never touched it, it would have been a lot better. I mean, we would have been much better off. On top of which, we've spent probably $4 trillion. Nobody even knows what we've spent. So, no, I have great people, and Gen. Flynn is one of them."
What gobbledegook! One is tempted to use the phrase "stream of consciousness" to describe that outburst, but it seems a bit daring to presume that Trump was actually conscious when he spoke. The question was "Do you trust the intelligence community, Mr. Trump?" -- not "Do you like the Middle East situation?" or "Do you agree with current policies?" or "Do you have good people?" Ask Trump about the price of mangoes and he's likely to blather about the mating habits of ocelots. This man doesn't think
, he anti-thinks
Nevertheless, Flynn is there to warn Trump about any potential traps. (Flynn's testiness
when asked about Putin is, I would argue, revealing.)