Like so many Republicans Senator Marco Rubio (or “Little Marco” as Trump calls him) from Florida didn’t even wait for yesterday’s arraignment to look for cameras – to whine about Trump being indicted. While some GOP Senators are hedging their bets and (gasp) even being a bit critical Rubio sounds more like his counterparts over in the House. By which I mean outrage, or needing fainting couches or maybe both. It’s like they’ve been transported back in time to the arrival of The Hindenburg and join in chorus with the “Oh, the humanity” dude. Only their version is “Oh, the tragedy! Trump is on that burning airship!” Followed by speculation that it was sabotaged by Democrats of course.
Look, news about Trump having stolen, then not only kept but fought like hell to retain classified documents and materials is no longer news. While for a time I admit to having doubts it would happen I long ago realized in the end Trump would be formally charged and tried for at least that particular set of crimes. So even his trip to Miami wasn’t really news, especially with no cameras and audio of him or the proceedings in the courthouse. The press event he held at the Cuban joint (a well known spot I’m told) could have been held anywhere. If it was meant to show solidarity with people of Cuban heritage it was a fail. Trump spouted the same lies and b.s. surrounded by a bunch of WHITE people!
The talking heads on TV had some interesting stuff to say about what to expect next, but both before and after Trump’s court appearance there wasn’t a whole lot of new “there” there. That brings me to reactions from Republicans back in DC. Like Trump, when there’s a flare up in the growing legal bonfire he’s created around himself we can pretty much count on the same people trotting out with lame excuses, pledges of support no matter what, outrage (of course!) and so on. But, sometimes they make a little news.
With some brand new ridiculous take on things. Enter Marco Rubio.
Rubio as you know long ago secured a spot in the Trump Sycophant’s Hall of Shame. But like any other proud (Why? Who the hell knows?) member he’s probably worried he might get cast out. Like God casting Satan out of heaven, he and the others fear something far worse, that TrumpGod will cast them out of TrumpWorld. So, Little Marco has taken to the airwave about this indictment to run interference for Trump. His them is “Maybe he wasn’t as careful as he might have been, but what damage has he actually done?”
I’ve been seething since I first read those words in a headline yesterday. What damage? Are you freaking kidding me?
Lest we forget, Rubio happens to be Vice-Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee! He knows damn well the damage Trump has done to our National Security. However, since he’s framed things in this “What was the actual damage” manner let’s start with this:
Ever since the government started getting (in installments) National Security information in the form of documents and other items returned teams from various agencies (not just our own, but our allies too) have by now spent tens of millions of dollars engaged in what’s called Damage Assessment. That means figuring out as much as possible what might have made its way to those, including enemies that should have it, how to fix or at least mitigate the effects and how much various options will cost.
- In addition to general Damage Assessment, particular information has gone into addressing the problem of compromised SOURCES and METHODS. Sources means people, almost always working out there in places and ways that if their work on our behalf were discovered by the wrong people would lead to a painful and ugly death. Methods is the combination of human sources and other means of intelligence gathering. Satellites and other aerial recon, listening posts, cyber, ect. No country ever, EVER wants others, especially enemies know exactly how good (or not) such capabilities are. For example the quality of photos from satellites and spy planes is degraded, more often that not to all but a handful of people from our most trusted allies. If then. Or the capabilities of satellites and spy planes. In the case of the former orbital mechanics can be worked out meaning bad guys know when and where satellites will pass over someplace. How far ahead or behind, or from side-to-side is another matter. That CAN be kept secret and should be. So should ability to listen in on conversations or take photos video from how far away. If an enemy learns we are more capable that they thought they can make changes and it costs a bundle for US to adjust!
- If troop deployments, especially small spec ops units are deployed somewhere or positioned to easily slip in and out of certain places and it’s revealed to the wrong people lives get lost. Again, that means spending time and money figuring out how to adjust for compromised plans.
- As a matter of course the DOD develops and updates plans for various contingencies including full out war all over the globe. Everything from conventional forces to nuclear response and predicted counter-response. If compromised the cost of changing is incalculable but it’s huge. And since some things can’t be changed all that much in some scenarios there will be a cost in casualties to our troops as well as civilians caught in the middle of things. A cost in human blood and body parts.
That my friends is just off the top of my head for starters. I could write a book about the costs, the damages but people smarter than me have written books about the consequences of intelligence failures including leaks or theft of classified information.
Other than that I can’t for the life of me (being snarky) imagine any damage!
However that’s not the worst part of what Rubio is now selling. There’s bad news, and there’s worse, REALLY bad news.
First, we will never and I mean NEVER know if Trump has returned all National Security information he STOLE. Remember that Damage Assessment stuff I talked about? That means they will always have to be on the lookout for more things that might have been stolen.
However, that’s not the worst of it. No. It’s too horrible to have to contemplate and god damn Donald J. Trump and every one of his you-know-what sucking defenders but we don’t know and will never know what he has ALREADY shared. Even sold. THAT my friends means those doing Damage Assessment have to not only assume the worst when it comes to every single National Security Document that’s been recovered, but that anything that made it into the West Wing might have wound up where Trump could grab hold of it and stuff it away for his own use later!
WE WILL NEVER KNOW.
Neither will our allies. For a generation (at least) to come we and they won’t know for sure what even some of the most highly classified information Trump had access to has been compromised. That means despite our having more capabilities to not only get but help them flesh out intelligence they will be reluctant to share all they know with us, and even to other allies they think might turn around and share it with us.
Because Bush 43 was our “Mulligan” in international matters. Trump’s even having a chance to win in 2016 scared the hell out of our allies. Then via our Constitutional vestigial organ known as the Electoral College (which also let Bush 43 slip through and into the WH) became President the old paradigm forever broke things. It’s likely, even if on trial or even convicted Trump will be the GOP nominee next year. To our allies it’s now clear that every four years everything is up for grabs, including our own and often their most closely guarded secrets might be revealed to enemies. We will never in the lifetime of anyone reading this be trusted the way we were prior to Trump be trusted the way we once were. It wasn’t so many years ago we were the unquestioned leader of the free world and while some had dreams of taking over that role no one actually saw it changing. Not anymore – due to Trump.
This compromising of National Security, hoarding classified documents, leaving them where so many passing through his club(s) could get at them. (and we know for a fact agents of adversaries have conducted operations to see what they could get their hands on on them, especially down in FL) Showing them off to people. Even selling them? Somehow I don’t think the Saudis shelling out a couple billion to Jared is the only money that changed hands. The point is that it’s a stark reminder that even gone from the WH Trump is a danger to not just us but them. It reinforces their view that our word and leadership can’t be counted on for more than four years at a time.
So Little Marco, try putting a price tag, both in money and human costs on that!
Now, this is I admit my own opinion but I’m bettering others, lots of others will agree. Trump will, if he feels he’s screwed try to take everyone and everything down with him. We already know he had copies of classified, highly sensitive National Security information transferred to at least one laptop and at least a couple of flash drives. Again, we don’t know what has NOT been recovered by the government. But of this I’m certain. We know there are jilted lovers/spouses out there who adopt a “If I can’t have you then no one can attitude” out there. Who grab their GUN and shoot the person who rejected them. Maybe the kids and other family too before turning their GUN on themselves. Happens damned near every day.
I for one think that would be Trump’s attitude in the end. If he’s held to account as he should be, and loses his freedom and money (if it hasn’t imploded by then it will once he’s convicted) he will have convinced himself he’s some special combination of unfairly rejected and f**ke over. And like the jilted lover he will try to make sure that since HE can’t enjoy freedom and money that none of the rest of us will be able to either. One can only hope that the government does have back all he stole, and that there aren’t any copies out there. Or that if there are, the person(s) he entrusted with releasing it, his personal Snowden or Assange takes a hard look at what they’re about to do and says “No, I won’t do it.”
I do have one hopeful thought about that doomsday scenario. There IS one person who would gladly, even gleefully burn everything down for Trump. Steve Bannon. However, Trump wouldn’t trust Bannon with any means of getting his hands on some flash drive because Bannon wouldn’t sit around and wait for Trump’s downfall. Hey, I’ll take even f**ked up hope at this point.
But Rubio, like so many others isn’t fit to serve in the Office he holds. So getting back to where I started, yes there will be news about how things are progressing with the National Security trial down in Miami and you should take note of it. But just as important is news of the new ways in which Trump’ supporters of prominence will come up with to defend him. Because a good thirty million or more Americans will see/hear their mouth-sharting defenses and believe it to be gospel. Whether Rubio or someone else these a$$hat WILL come up with new rationalizations and everyone needs to pay attention and be ready to respond.