GOP not the party of ‘Security’ as Intel Allies Flee Trump

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Globally, US security partners are beginning to rethink sharing sensitive intelligence with the United States. That decisio should worry all Americans, since it puts the US at greater risk of being blindsided.

The Republican Party has long claimed to be the party of security, in large part because they confuse belligerent rhetoric with security. A war with Iran would have made the United States beleaguered, bankrupt and feeble. President Barack Obama’s deal with Iran saved the US from that fate. Diplomacy and care with words enhances US security. Rattling sabers leads to being run through by a saber.

The hollowness of GOP claims to be the party of strength are demonstrated by the mass of US allies running for the door and vowing never to show Washington anything remotely important.

Even the Israelis, who would have no security without the US, are kvetching about Trump’s latest breach. It is widely thought that he endangered an Israeli spy who had penetrated ISIL. And Tel Aviv is royally angered.

Former Mossad head Shabtai Shavit slammed Trump and said he’d be careful about sharing intel with the US in future, and observed that all America’s allies would have the same reaction. Another former Israeli intelligence head, Danny Yatom, said that Washington had to be punished for Trump’s gaffes, or else he would just go on making them.

It should be noted that the CIA considers Israeli intelligence one of the leakiest among US allies, and according to Sy Hersh, Washington was convinced that Mossad ran Jonathan Pollard to get US naval secrets, some of which somehow ended up in Moscow. Also, somehow some US military weapons specifications ended up in China.

So if the Israelis now think Trump is too leaky to do business with, that is saying something.

Then Burkhard Lischka, a member of the German parliamentary intelligence oversight committee, called Trump “a security risk” and said: “If it proves to be true that the American president passed on internal intelligence matters that would be highly worrying.”

So it seems that the vaunted Republican Party advantage on security and intelligence issues is a mirage. A sitting Republican president is scaring off our closest allies from tight security cooperation. Who knows what terrorist plot might be missed because of it?

Trump has only been in office a few months, and he has already ruined intelligence relationships forged over decades.

Because he is a bratty blabbermouth?


I wish this controversy were even at the level of policy. But you know, the Republicans had a chance to look at Trump and say, ‘no way.’ Instead they embraced him and joined his administration. All of us will pay the price for their pusillanimity and shortsightedness.


Related video added by Juan Cole:

ABC News: Former Mossad chief says Israel will “think twice” before sharing sensitive info

22 Responses

  1. Watching this drama filled administration dive bomb reminds me of Jim Carrey’s movie “The Truman Show” in which the public stays glued to the TV waiting for the next real life drama to unfold.

    There is no question that if the economy tanks, health care capsizes, the deficit explode or if he is charged with treason and impeached, we can count on an indifferent Trump to put a positive spin on it all….”The cable news networks and the Sunday shows have never had better ratings and they tell me it’s all because of me!”

    What fresh hell will today bring?

    • Only, Truman had the wherewithal to become aware and escape the show. Trump, who fought to be at the centre of the show, appears to be a case study from Dunning-Kruger.

  2. So, Israeli “intelligence” did not only warn US “intelligence” but delievered all the details including the name of their spy.
    The CIA then of course had to inform the President, right down to the last detail, so he could leak?!
    I think the least intelligent ones are those who believe this story.

  3. “Trump has only been in office a few months, and he has already ruined intelligence relationships forged over decades.” This is a conclusion without evidence. Putin said he would provide transcripts. Why not get the facts? Maybe this is fake news. Does anyone take Israel’s kvetching seriously?

    • You act as if Trump’s racist smears about fake voters and Chinese global warming conspiracies and birtherism being the very basis for his rise within the Republican Party are not proof that the main source of fake news is the American Right and its allies.

  4. If the media had ignored the incident none of this would have come out, no retirees dragged from their ease to pontificate, no endless speculations from soi-disant experts. Any damage, if there was any, could have been quietly handled in the background. Anyone with eyes half open already knew there was a potential threat from laptops on passenger flights, which had to have come from some source or other. A different order of damage is done to the US image by the media harping on in a transparent effort to further besmirch Trump. It’s scarcely a wonder Erdogan et al prefer to keep a tight lid on them. The UK has what’s called DSMA (Defence and Security Media Advisory) notices which indicate to editors the reason the government considers certain things best left unreported. The decision is then up to the Editor. It’s a peculiarly British way of balancing a free press and the national interest that probably wouldn’t work in the US where one imagines Editors scouring such notices for front page material.

    • Rubbish. This Crazy Clown President is just as likely to tweet out confidential info as not. Then who will you blame? Twitter, for not reviewing and censoring the tweets of our nutzo Prez? Stop trying to place the blame for all Trump’s failings everywhere else but where it belongs, squarely on the demented man himself.

  5. “The Republican Party has long claimed to be the party of security, in large part because they confuse belligerent rhetoric with security.”

    There are a lot of things the GOP claims to be the party of, of which it is nothing of the sort. They end up associated with policies or aspects of political identity with which they ought not to be associated. Let me count the ways:

    1. It’s the party of religious, esp. Judeo-Christian values. Um, no – those religions are deeply concerned with a highly developed sense of ethics, and their sacred texts teach that you take care of the least among us – the sick, the indigent, the stranger in your land.

    2. It’s the party that will best support our military and the troops. Uh, would that be the same one that put so many soldiers into unnecessary wars and consequently in harm’s way in Iraq?

    3. It’s the party that will best steward the economy since it consists of staid adults in the room. Again, no. Trickle down was bad under Reagan – hell, it’s bad under anybody – and to this day remains about the only thing in their economic ideological arsenal.

    4. It’s the party of fiscal conservatism. Again, BS: it’s the party of reverse redistribution, in which it’s alright for the middle class to be squeezed while billionaires get tax cuts.

    5. It’s the conservative party. Again, no way. It is a radical organization bent on social upheaval and misery. A true conservative wants to maintain social order – their radical cuts of social programs will upend and disrupt the lives of millions, esp. if they repeal the ACA. Nor are they in any way shape or form conservative when it comes to the environment. And what is remotely conservative about the stifling political Chaos now embroiling this country because the GOP thought it was alright to put a whole clown car full of ass clowns in the White House?

    In short, in the GOP cruelty, short-sighted policies, and mean-spiritedness are almost always mistaken for strength and principle, or used as a cover for making “tough” decisions (for which read kicking the poor or people of color off of any form of public assistance). But let’s not pretend that kicking people to the curb counts as anything other than virtual performance art for the party that foisted Caligula a L’Orange upon us. It is a perversion of language and thought that recalls Thucydides’ account of the revolution in Corcyra in 427/6 BC. Plus ca change!

  6. “Globally, US security partners are beginning to rethink sharing sensitive intelligence with the United States.”


    And if the USA then said to those “security partners” to stop and think again, lest they end up on the USA’s “naughty list”, just what do you think will happen?

    A lot of one-time “allies” have ended up on the USA’s “naughty list”, and it’s never been pleasant, and not a few of whose “leaders” have ended up stone-cold-dead because of it.

    Honestly, who is the Big Dawg in these relationships?

    Truthfully, a lot of hyperventilation seems to be taking place over something that shouldn’t be of the slightest concern to a super-power.

    It sounds very much like some of these “allies” need to wake up to themselves.

    • What a bizarre world view you have. We aren’t living in a Captain America comic. The power of this country is highly dependent on it alliances. Without them we are blind, deaf and lame. As for our imagined invulnerability, we just had Russian cyber-meddling decide our Presidential election, remember?

      • Ok, Pat, please explain: 1) the precise meddling and then 2) how it swung the red states to Trump and away from Hillary to the extent that the Electoral College went so far toward Trump.

    • Who is the “big dawg” on earth, changes minute by minute as is well documented by 10000 years of human history.

      One of the key characteristics of humans is their immense ability to delude themselves and practice hubris on a grand scale.

      The USA is NOT the “big dawg” anymore and in fact it could be demonstrated it never has been.

      Every nation does what is best for its top 5% and may even care a little about the other 95% some what. Over the centuries, countries have learned how to con each other in the nicest possible ways, so even when the USA egos think they are “top dawg” they really are not and often pay heavily for the help the USA gets.

      If other nations decide that screwing the USA is in their best interest, they will screw the USA because they know in the end, the USA has no real leverage over them. The USA is vastly more weak than your delusions let you understand.

      So Yes, the USA is going to have very negative consequences for all the trump screw-ups.

  7. The investigation of Russia’s influence in the administration of the USA is a shameful farce: If Congress wants to be serious about foreign powers messing with the administration of our Country, Congress should investigate ALL suspicious foreign powers. Such investigators should subpoena people like Juan Cole, N. Chomsky.

  8. Professor Cole, I’m astonished by the sudden credibility you now ascribe to both MSM and Israeli intelligence.

    If President Trump told the Russians about new intelligence regarding laptop bombs that sounds to me like the least partners against terrorism could do for one another. As I’m sure you recall, over the last fifteen years the Russians have been extremely helpful to the American military in the Afghanistan campaign among others.

    The officials – retired or not – who leaked this information to the press are the ones who should be investigated and probably jailed for divulging classified information to the press.

    The question remains though, why are you shilling for Israeli intelligence whose only goal is to destroy every Arab country? Currently in the crosshairs are Syria, Lebanon and Iran. Disrupting the Trump administration and poisoning relations with Russia are just stepping stones to inflicting more misery on Israel’s neighbours.

    • In what way is Mr. Cole “shilling” for Israeli intelligence? He is only pointing to them as an example of a close ally that might be reconsidering the extent to which they share intelligence given what a egotistical blabbermouth our President is.

    • Were where you when Hillary Clinton was being held to an extreme standard over Benghazi and e-mails?

      What crime would Trump have to commit to bother you? Why can you not see that this is a man defined by racism and theft? Did you pay no attention to the hatefest of his campaign trail – a campaign that for the first time is being made permanent with endless stops whipping up mobs of rednecks who lack only torches and swastikas? Why do you want so desperately to believe that Bannon and his neo-fascists will lead the world to peace?

      Our fuhrer has already sacrificed our environment, he’s tried to destroy healthcare by killing Obamacare so as to bankrupt Medicaid and destabilize Medicare, and he’s already bombed Syria. What do you really see in him?

      • So what exactly is this classified information which President Trump leaked to Russia? I forgot, that’s classified. The whole accusation an empty rhetorical vicious circle.

        On the other hand, Hillary Clinton did run State Department business on an illegal, insecure, private email server as Secretary of State. A felony.

  9. If the Israelis think that punishing Washington will stop the president from making “gaffes,” they’re not as sharp as they’re considered.

Comments are closed.