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18 June 2020

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turcopolier

Yeah, right

Good point. The NSC staff thing was created by Eisenhower on the pattern of a military staff. It worked for him because he knew how to control it. In other admins. the NSA has been a rival for State with its head developing his own foreign policy.

turcopolier

TTG

You have a different understanding of what happened than I. I watched Bolton say on TeeVee that CIA and DoD had not cleared on his book. To me that means that the book was sent to them as is proper. All agencies that have equities in the book must be consulted. Does this mean that Knight sent them the book? I doubt that Knight had the legal authority to clear the book on her own. As for the WH organization being a mess, this results from Trump not being an orgman. He is organizationally challenged and does not comprehend things like structure and hierarchy.

Jim

For me, key point about National Security Advisor: unlike all other major presidential appointments, NSA chief does not require "advise and consent" of US Senate.

Thus Gen. Flynn was on the job from day one -- and campaign to destroy him began before day one.

Kissinger used his role as NSA chief to conduct US foreign policy in a way that undercut Nixon's Sec. of State William Rogers.

Kissinger destroy the Roger's Plan that Nixon had in mind to address the Israel/Palestine conflict.

When Bolton was appointed by Trump, my thought was that the president did this as a means to change direction of attacks on him -- from "the Right" to instead come from "the Left."

Whatever that means.

And now Armageddon Boy Bolton being made into a hero by unctuous mob of media morons and politicians.

I expect Bolton to be charged with crimes to the fullest extent of the law, should this be fully released as he hopes.

We'll see.

-30-

Morongobill

On a personal level, I've often thought that Bolton, in his excessive zeal during argument, must have insulted many who in the old days would have settled things in the manner that the army officer did to Huey Long in the washroom; it was alleged that Long accidentally splashed the officers shoes with urine and the officer then beat hell out of him.

Such Jacksonian treatment, in my opinion, might bring some needed personal accounting for one's big mouth. In other words, taking it out behind the pool hall as Harry Reid once said.

A.I.S.

@ JP Billen

I meant the colonels book, not Boltons :)

JP Billen

A.I.S. - I too hope to read Colonel Lang's book. Your Latour reference wen way over my head though.

As for Bolton's book, I'd like to read it myself to see if it is being correctly reported that Pompeo was disparaging and mocking Trump in private conversation with Bolton. I tend to believe it of Pompeo, he seems to think he is above the rest of us and is God's gift to the world.

downtownhaiku

I do not support Bolton in any way shape or form.
But I do wish to bring to your attention that some of the views in this article are seriously contested. Please allow me to quote:

While some federal agencies — such as the FBI and CIA — require former employees to submit books and articles they author after employment for such a review, the nondisclosure agreements signed by National Security Council employees do not impose the same mandate unless a manuscript addresses intelligence matters that could touch on Sensitive Compartmentalized Information, a term used for the government’s most closely held secrets (generally sources and methods for intelligence-gathering).

According to Bolton attorney Charles Cooper, the former national security adviser only submitted his manuscript for review “out of an abundance of caution,” and after a four-month process, the career NSC official overseeing the review — an expert who has gone through such procedures with many would-be authors — informed his client that a revised version of his manuscript had eliminated any classified passages. But rather than provide him with the customary letter attesting to his book’s suitability for publication, the Trump administration withheld the clearance letter indicating its completion and launched two subsequent rounds of review by (less qualified) political appointees, both Trump loyalists rather than career experts.

In response, Bolton and his publisher, Simon and Schuster, began moving forward with plans to release the version of the book which the career official had said contained no classified information, and in a statement released last week, Bolton signaled his intentions: “Game on”.
. . .
But as for the Trumpworld claims that Bolton is either an inveterate liar or a sloppy national security risk who is carelessly damaging the country’s security to make a buck, those who’ve known Bolton, those who’ve worked with him, and those who’ve fought both him and his former boss have the same response: Not a chance.

“He would never put anything in [a book] that was classified,” said Reed Hundt, who was a year behind Bolton as a Yale University undergraduate, and was later in Bolton’s class at Yale Law School.

Hundt, who served as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission under the Clinton administration, added that he and Bolton “never agreed on anything,” but nevertheless said it was “not the least bit surprising” that Bolton would break with Trump because Bolton “has a lot of respect for intelligence and knowledge” and “is not an ignorant loud-mouth”.

Another person who has worked alongside Bolton, an attorney who served with him in the Reagan and George H W Bush-era Justice Department, was also skeptical of the claim that Bolton would be careless with information that could cause grave damage to US national security if revealed.

Asked if he believed Bolton would be careless enough to include classified information in a book manuscript, the former DOJ official replied: “I would be surprised.”

“I would think that he would know the difference between what's classified and what's not,” said the former official, who requested anonymity because of pending business before the federal government. “Surely, he wanted to get the book out, so he wouldn't include it [classified information] in the manuscript.”

But it’s not only former colleagues and classmates who don’t buy the administration’s claim that Bolton would mishandle classified information. Even those national security professionals who have fundamental disagreements with Bolton are confident that he would adhere to the rules.

Ned Price, a former CIA analyst who served as a National Security Council spokesperson during the Obama administration but left the CIA rather than serve under Trump, said it was highly unlikely that Bolton would have included any legitimately classified information in his book given his decades of experience in the national security establishment.

“People who have been in the national security environment for years — or decades, in his case — have a good sense of what's classified and what's not, and may have a good sense of what counts as top secret information, what counts as secret information, and what counts as confidential information, because there are precise definitions behind each of these,” Price said, adding that the goal of a prepublication review is typically to ensure that intelligence sources and methods are properly protected.

“With someone of his seniority in his position, you don't see a sort of protracted back-and-forth because they have a good sense going into it — ‘this is classified, this is not’ — and what strikes me about all of this is that the career official responsible for reviewing these manuscripts told Ambassador Bolton in April that… according to her review, it didn't contain classified information,” Price continued. “But then, lo and behold, she sent it up to someone with less experience, but who was closer to the president… and that person came to a different determination… and the National Security Adviser — someone who had not been in senior levels of national security roles before, lo and behold, found there were reportedly classified elements in there. The whole thing reeks of abuse of power… of a vindictive effort to keep this book from seeing the light of day.”

Another former Bolton colleague who clashed with him repeatedly during the early 2000s, former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns, stressed that he and Bolton “have very different worldviews,” but called the ex-Trump national security adviser “very smart, very dedicated, and very trustworthy” when it comes to protecting the nation’s secrets.

“These allegations that somehow he's playing fast and loose do not strike me as the John Bolton that I worked with… From someone who has often been an opponent of his on substantive policy grounds, John is a straightforward, serious, credible, honest person in my judgment,” said Burns, who added that while Bolton should have testified before the House during the impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s conduct regarding Ukraine, he found the president’s behavior as described in what is known of Bolton’s book so far to be “disgraceful” and “unprecedented in modern American history”.

And while the judge who will hear the government’s arguments against Bolton on Friday — Royce Lamberth — is a Reagan appointee and former Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court chief judge who has long been skeptical of sweeping classification claims by the government, given the Trump administration’s penchant for litigation, it’s possible that no matter the outcome of Friday’s hearing the Justice Department will take the case as far as it can go.

For Hundt, Bolton’s Yale Law classmate, that’s an outcome he would not mind seeing.

“Hopefully the case will be litigated to the highest possible court” in order to get a “definitive decision, defeating what undoubtedly is the gross overreach of the administration on this topic,” he said.

Noting that two of their Yale Law classmates — Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas — currently sit on that “highest possible court,” Hundt predicted that both would side with Bolton if his case were to come before them.

“I'd love to see a case end up in the Supreme Court, where Alito and Thomas will know the truth,” he said. “They'll know that he would never disclose any national security information.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/john-bolton-the-room-where-it-happened-trump-claims-impeachment-a9575971.html

Fred

Hopefully Bolton will get more than the 30 months this person got:
https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-dia-analyst-sentenced-leaking-classified-information-journalists

turcopolier

downtownhaiku

Bolton was a career employee of the State Department. He had repeatedly signed sworn acknowledgements of his lifetime legal obligation to protect from public disclosure a wide variety of SCI compartments and SAPs concerning covert and other secret government actions. . He had signed similar acknowledgements at the NSC which similarly obligated him for life under penalty of criminal action against him. Service in the WH at the right hand of the president and in frequent conversation with him inevitably would contain the material that Bolton had sworn in those acknowledgements to protect for life.

turcopolier

All

A federal judge ruled this AM that he will not entertain DoJ's injunction against sale of Bolton's book. What is being ignored thus far is that he specifically wrote that his decision DOES NOT relieve Bolton of criminal liability for unauthorized disclosure and other charges.

Jim

From today's decision saying the horse is already out of the barn -- the book -- and an injunction won't change things -- and that Bolton faces criminal prosecution, perhaps:

[[ Defendant Bolton has gambled with the national security of the United States. He has exposed his country to harm and himself to civil (and potentially criminal) liability. But these facts do not control the motion before the Court. The government has failed to establish that an injunction will prevent irreparable harm. Its motion is accordingly
DENIED]]

-30-

Artemesia

Polish Janitor - the quoted woman looks like young John Travolta.

Quick walk around the block in my neighborhood:
In the very large picture windows in the Delta headquarters, four or five, "Proud to be Transgender" posters.

Around the corner at a coffee house: "We're contributing 5% of all sales to BLM"
Across the street at a newly-opened (but no longer open) restaurant: "Justice for George Floyd."

Billboard above the 7-11: "Love Confidently: take PrEP (before homosexual sex).
Earlier, the same billboard featured a young black male under a rainbow umbrella and the banner, "Love Passionately." Same message: take Gilead pills before sex so you won't get AIDs. Taxpayers subsidize.

A neighbor lady distributed masks at each front door, addressed by name to residents, with several paragraphs about the necessity of wearing masks as "a message to others that they need to wear mask" (that is, grass-roots shaming), and "It's not to protect yourself but to protect your neighbors. Be a patriot!"

So the questions become: do the homosexuals wear masks and if so, who are they protecting? (Tax dollars subsidize the Gilead drugs & medical expenses in the PrEP program).

Does Justice for George encompass Justice for Chauvin?

Will the coffee shop use some of that 5% to compensate other shop owners whose businesses were smashed and looted?

Are the transgenders keeping their social distance from little children at Drag Queen story hours (should libraries ever re-open)?

And the biggest question: How to stay sane in such an environment: Speak out? Keep head down? Move --- where to?

J

Will DoJ seek criminal prosecution for Bolton's criminal disclosures?

Terence Gore

"But a more important source of China’s anger has been growing efforts of the Trump administration to build a close military alliance with India to counter-balance China’s increasing military power.

Though seeming counter-intuitive to Trumps’ efforts to secure re-election by getting Beijing to buy more produce from American farmers, the Pentagon is preparing for a future war with China. Trump came close to facing a military coup in recent weeks and is trying to avoid angering the Pentagon and Washington’s active and retired military establishment."

https://www.unz.com/emargolis/nuclear-rivals-clash-in-the-himalayas/

The Twisted Genius

pl,

Even though we all know the horse has left the barn I do have some pertinent thoughts on Bolton's gambit. He sent his manuscript to the NSC Records Management Division which was where it should have gone. The breakdown was in this office. Ellen Knight, the experienced director of this office, did not get this to the right people for review. Both Trump and Barr were clueless a few days ago about the book's impending release next week. Knight dropped the ball badly. I have little doubt Bolton used his knowledge of this office and his bullying temperament to get Knight to give him some kind of verbal or email approval for publication after several months of persistent badgering. Bolton and Simon & Shuster took that and ran with it, even though no formal letter of clearance was given. I would think Knight would be fired for screwing the pooch on this one. I also doubt Bolton will see a dime from this book, but I doubt that bothers him. What may bother him is prosecution for releasing classified information. We'll see if and how that plays out.

Andre Surkis

America has fuses that allow it to function normally, regardless of politics and president. But the resource of these fuses is not infinite. For a long time, I believed that no matter what was happening in Washington, the United States would save other vital centers. New York is the financial and cultural capital. San Francisco is a techno hub. Boston is a city of science. Hollywood is an entertainment center. But it is not...

J

Colonel, TTG,

How does one spell Oops, it appears that Bolton's book has been 'leaked' online:

https://t.co/K7XgcQ63qT

Jack

Terence,

It seems this has to do more with the rivalry among China, Pakistan and India.

India is now building significant infrastructure in the region to aid rapid military buildup and has got road and airfield that could threaten the Karakoram Highway from Tibet to Pakistan.

No doubt the US could be very helpful to India by providing them sophisticated reconnaissance intelligence on Chinese military movements in the region. Unlike 1962 India is much better prepared militarily even as Chinese military spending is 4-5x India.

It would make a lot of sense for the US strategy to constrain China’s military ambitions to partner with India and provide them advanced gear for high altitude combat as well as satellite and other intelligence.

The below video with map and terrain provides a very useful understanding of the current flashpoint.

https://youtu.be/cGh9IuopCME

blue peacock

Jack,

Thanks for the link to the video. Very informative.

India is just beginning to catch up with infrastructure in the Himalayas. The Chinese have been at it for far longer in building road, air and military infrastructure in the Tibetan border regions and I believe have control of much of the ridge tops.

I agree that the US should aid India with technical assistance in constructing infrastructure in those mountainous regions as well as gear for high altitude military conflict. Probably even provide advisors to train the Indian military on high altitude warfare.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-slowly-building-military-muscle-from-ladakh-to-arunachal-on-the-china-front/articleshow/63560844.cms

Yeah, Right

To what end, Jack? I understand that powerful countries find the allure of a Great Game irresistible, but how useful is such meddling in the greater scheme of things?

I mean, the British meddled enormously when they committed themselves to the Crimea War, but what did that gain them apart from one fantastic poem and an iconic nurse?

Other than that, what, exactly?

Meddling for no good purpose just seems to me to be a waste of time. China and India both have a dog in this fight. The USA doesn't, and it should act that way.

Jack

Yeah Right,

In general I have been a long-term advocate for a much more circumspect US foreign policy and have by and large opposed most of our military adventures overseas.

However, the totalitarian Chinese Communist Party is a significant threat as they have an expansionist mindset. They annexed Tibet and have systematically destroyed their culture. They are now doing that to the distinct cultures in Xinjiang.

Supporting India with technical assistance like sophisticated reconnaissance intelligence as well as high altitude military gear is very important in providing serious pushback to CCP expansionism. India of course gets most of its military gear from Russia. I believe behind the scenes Putin will also support India in a significant manner militarily as it is only a matter of time before the CCP attempt to screw him.

I’m in favor of complete decoupling with CCP and maximalist pressure short of direct military conflict including the recognition of Taiwan as an independent country.

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/india-to-seek-russia-s-help-for-urgent-supply-of-spares-for-fighter-aircraft-fleet-submarines-tanks-1691627-2020-06-22

Yeah, Right

Funny you should mention Tibet, as that is an example of British Great Game meddling par-excellence.

Neither Tibet nor Taiwan had/has ever declared themselves to be "independent countries", so both represent a situation where a central government lost the ability to assert authority over remote provinces.

Bringing rebel provinces to heel is not in any way evidence of an "expansionist mindset". Never was, never will be.

That China may have hegemonic ambitions is not something I dispute - they certainly act that way - but that is not the same thing.

Some nibbling at the edges of India/Pakistan, sure, just as India and Pakistan have like ambitions in that area. But, really, apart from that the Chinese don't appear to have any ambitions to swallow up the territory of foreign independent countries.

Jack

Tibet has been an independent “country” in several epochs in its history.

From the reign of Namri Songsten on through the 7th and 8th centuries. And even as central rule in Tibet fragmented in the 10th and 11th centuries they were not vassals of the imperial palaces in China right through to the 17th/18th centuries. The Qing dynasty occupied Tibet in the 18th century.

The great power game of the British only happened in the 19th century. The Chinese left Tibet after the fall of the Qing dynasty.

In any case the Tibetans are not Han and have a distinct and different culture. They do not have the population or the resources to resist in any meaningful way the Chinese communists.

IMO, the CCP is the most malevolent force not only in world affairs but also in their control of the Chinese people. Every effort should be made by the US to destroy them.

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