“Security; what security?” I remember that being my then pre-school nephew’s reply to my answer as to the purpose of the automatic gate at the entrance to the Florida community I lived in at the time. He was correct. The gate provided the illusion of security as well as giving the management a selling point, but in reality did almost nothing to prevent an unwanted intruder from entering the neighborhood. That story relates to the Trump administration and its attitude toward national security. Let’s explore.
Last week Sunday, Trump was dining on the patio at his Mar-a-Lago club resort with Prime Minister Abe of Japan when they received word of the North Korean missile test. In full ear and eye shot of guests and wait staff they reviewed material and discussed strategy. Many other dinner guests of the resort took out their iPhones and recorded and/or live tweeted the events. Even petty criminals would have been smart enough to clear out a men’s room, put a goon on the door and carry on their discussion in relative privacy.
My men’s room example would certainly provide inadequate security for the President of the United States who must assume he is the target of constant and sophisticated espionage efforts. But Trump and his band of incompetents didn’t even go that far. A bunch of high school kids selling marijuana are more sophisticated and careful than Team Trump. (I’m giving Abe a pass; he was the visitor.)
If this were a lone slip up it could be attributed to a rookie president getting a little excited and forgetting to dot the “i’s” and cross the “t’s”. The problem is this is a part of a pattern of behavior that totally disregards national security.
Last week Michael Flynn resigned as Trump’s National Security Advisor after only 24 days on the job. At the core of the controversy were conversations he was having with Russian officials regarding national security policies before he was authorized to do so. At this point the whole truth is far from public in this matter, however there is reason to believe that this scandal goes much deeper (and probably higher) than Flynn.
There have been several high level phone calls and meeting that have included people like Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, or his daughter Ivanka in the room. I guess we should be thankful that thus far Trump has refrained from blasting the content of foreign policy conversations out on Twitter.
There is a part of me that thinks part of the “sloppiness” is just Trump’s fragile ego on display. He likes acting like a big, important man in front of others in order to sooth his insecurity.
This is the same President with a history of skipping intelligence briefings and dismissing those he has attended as repetitive and beneath his intelligence. Perhaps he really does think he knows more about ISIS than the generals do. He stated as much on the campaign trail. Where is he getting his intelligence information? Breitbart and Infowars.
Stopping some solicitor from getting to apartment doors in Florida is trivial. It avoids an annoyance. The security of America and the free world is literally a matter of life and death; in the worst case scenario death on a massive scale. I want a President who has the intelligence and discipline to take it seriously because it is serious!
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