The Intelligence Community versus #TheRegime

So one down in Trump’s clique and it seems the intelligence community/Deep State/CIA had a hand in it. Naturally, the left is cheering (yay!) but holy effin shit: the CIA? The CIA helping topple governments is the thing we in particular hate.

Yeah but…let’s take a moment to reflect.

Flynn was compromised. When the content of his discussions with Russia were revealed, he had to resign. Russia and domestic intelligence services in the US knew about this. US intelligence services passed on the information to the DoJ (as they should) and the Whitehouse did nothing. That left Flynn in a position of power but open to blackmail.

So three choices:

  • do nothing – not viable because Flynn’s f*ck-up left open to blackmail from Russia.
  • use the information as a threat against Flynn – i.e. US intelligence services blackmail/pressure Flynn and thus gain power over the Whitehouse.
  • leak information so Flynn has to resign.

The best outcome would have been the Whitehouse doing something about Flynn but without that, the only ethical option was the last one. That’s pretty much how ethical whistleblowing should function – revealing information that exposes serious wrong doing.

The worry is the middle option. We don’t want a US government being effectively blackmailed by Russia but we don’t want a US government being effectively blackmailed by the CIA either. That is a worse precedent.

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7 comments

  1. delagar

    The problem is our citizens elected a corrupt bag of pus and his pus monkeys to run our country. I don’t think many really good choices follow from that decision.

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    • camestrosfelapton

      Indeed. If a government avoids, ignores or subverts the constitutional channels of accountability then other channels come into being. It’s why all governments have to compromise (if they have any sense).

      Like

  2. KR

    I’m with you, CF. Holy effin’ shit. There is something very big, very bad, and very high stakes going on here. I’m not sure what it is and I have only guesses where this is all headed, but it’s not going to be good in the short-to-medium term no matter what happens. A positive thing that could emerge might be the reinvigorated interest in participatory democracy, but I think the surveillance state and concentration of wealth and media control will probably neuter that outcome to a great degree. Thanks Obama.

    I think this is going to turn out to be much worse than it already appears to be – like Manchurian Candidate-level bad. I think it probably has its origins with Tromp the hapless and stupid egomaniac getting fish-hooked as a perfect mark for the much smarter, ruthless and more vicious Putin. I’m going to go ahead and place a bet that there is actual political treason/ acting-in-concert waiting to be uncovered. I don’t think it begins or ends with Flynn and handful of meetings about the Obama sanctions or Manafort in the Ukraine. I think whatever this is goes back years and will be shown to includes the trading of information and influence, hiding of money, promises made in exchange for certain things, abetting of spies. There will be blackmail too. I think it’s going to dwarf Watergate and go international in its scope.

    I’m worried. I have not thought seriously about nuclear missile threats since I was a teen. Now I do find myself worrying about it again because of the sheer recklessness of the actors involved.

    A sociologist of revolution, Theda Skocpol (who has recently written smart and scary things about the Tromp victory), noted years ago that one of the hallmarks of a genuine revolutionary moment was the advent of a schism in the ruling class. Revolutions don’t occur in dire poverty or repressive conditions but rather when conditions are worsening for the middle (ie: it’s relative, not absolute misery that is dangerous) – at a time when political order is breaking down with crisis of legitimacy among elites. These criteria and others she identified were present at various revolutionary moments: France 1789, Haiti 1793, Mexico 1910, Russia 1917, China 1949, Cuba 1959, Iran 1979.

    It would seem we are in another such moment where large sectors of the population feel disaffected and that their status (econ, pol, racial) is worsening. The elites certainly are turning on each other. There’s the old patrician order of the Bushes, Kennedys, Washington, Hamptons etc who are surely appalled at the turn of events. There’s the rapacious libertarian tech/ finance sector elite who have been grabbing and monetizing everything they can without care or concern for the social compact. There’s a corrupt political class that is more concerned with achieving and entrenching its own power than with serving constituents. An executive cabal that clearly wants to annihilate the political compact. Some security agencies (FBI, CIA) undermining each other and the system itself while others are overtly attacking the populace (Homeland Security, ICE and CBP).

    It’s kind of hard to find any good guys here (judges? the resisters?) or conceive how it could get put back together without significant upheaval – likely, I’m afraid, upheaval involving significant violence. I think that things can’t go back to the way they were anyway. Late stage capitalism has consumed itself. It’s the work of a generation to put humpty back together now.

    I think Comey’s the next one to squeeze and see what oozes out. I think that the use of polonium is about to go up. Watch the obituaries for clues as to what’s going on and with whom.

    Please tell me I am being too dramatic and pessimistic. Am I?

    Like

  3. lunarg

    KR, I also wish I saw something to disagree with in your analysis. I am putting my hopes in the NSA and DNI and a group of to save the rule of law, and the cognitive dissonance is jarring.

    Like

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