Wednesday, May 24, 2017

We Can Handle the Truth

In March your humble blogger expressed his frustration at the drip, drip, drip of information that is paralyzing the Administration (undoubtedly one of the goals of the leakers):
I'm fed up with dark hints of Russian election interference, influence and collusion, "evidence" that may or may not exist, the leaking by Trump opponents and a possible cover-up by the Trump Administration.

Let's follow the lead of that great American game, poker, and have everyone show their cards. And if Representative Schiff is obeying laws that enjoin him from revealing what he knows because the information is classified, let's have President Trump declassify everything so people can talk about it.

And don't hide behind "it will reveal sources and methods" because adversaries know more about American spycraft than the American public does anyway.
Two months later we're no further along in determining whether there's any fire behind the smoke. We have yesterday's testimony from former CIA Director John Brennan, who tells us that he warned Russian intelligence against "brazenly" interfering with the 2016 election:
Mr. Brennan described a previously undisclosed warning he made to his counterpart in Russian intelligence, Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the Russian FSB service, not to interfere in the U.S. election in an August phone call. According to Mr. Brennan’s account, Mr. Bortnikov denied any attempt to intervene and said Moscow is routinely and falsely blamed for such efforts by the U.S. government.
When asked for details
Mr. Brennan declined to discuss the specific information that his assessments were based on in the open hearing, saying that much of the information was classified. The House Intelligence Committee subsequently continued the hearing with Mr. Brennan in a classified, closed-door setting.
Mr. Trump has the power to declassify all this super-secret information, the selective leaking of which has been extremely damaging to his Presidency (already a special counsel has been appointed). He should approve the release of all of it. Though it may result in the firing and/or criminal prosecution of some on his team, he should know as a businessman that refusing to pay the price now results in a higher price later.

Note: just to be fair and balanced, the President ought to declassify all similar (the election, personal enrichment) information about communications between Russia, the Obama Administration, and the Clinton Campaign. C'mon, you know it exists.

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