Wednesday, August 10, 2016

not the Russians?

When Democrat emails were recently leaked, word was that there were Russian fingerprints all over the job—telltale code that pointed toward foreign espionage and mischief. The conservative response to this has been that the media were constructing a "narrative" that pointed the finger at the Russians while at the same time trying to establish links between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, both of whom have publicly praised the other. These two narrative strands were supposed to slot into an even larger narrative: that Donald Trump is a traitor willing to sell out US interests to whichever foreign power flatters him the most.

There's no doubt in my mind that Trump, if he became president, would be a national-security nightmare, given his inability to control his own mouth. I also admit that I was leaning toward believing the Russian angle based on early reports that spoke with some authority about the electronic fingerprints associated with the DNC-email leak that was exposed by WikiLeaks. But now, it may be that the Russians are a giant red herring: this article claims that the email leak may have been the result of a Democrat staffer named Seth Rich.

If this is true, one has to wonder why Rich would leak these emails. Was he motivated by conscience? We'll never know: Seth Rich was shot in the back in northwest Washington, DC, exactly a month ago, on July 10, a little after 4AM. Some are calling this a random murder; others see this as yet another tick in what has been ominously labeled the Clinton Body Count. I'm not partial to wild-eyed conspiracy theories, but I will be interested to see what more turns up as the Seth Rich story develops. WikiLeaks is now offering a $20,000 reward to anyone who has information on Rich's death.


TheBigHenry said...


I must say that the notion Trump is unable to control his mouth seems preposterous to me. Proprietary information is a very important factor in high-flying business dealings, which Trump has been very successful in negotiating. Loose lips not only sink ships (as the old saying has it) but also sink business deals. I think Trump is quite capable of keeping his mouth shut when it comes to important information such as national security secrets.

Kevin Kim said...


That's a good point regarding Trump and business, but I'm having trouble seeing evidence of verbal self-control when it comes to Trump on the campaign trail.

A quote from a military vet, found in this article:

"I'm gonna vote for him, but I don't agree with the way he's running his mouth all the time."

True: the context of the quote isn't about national security, but it is about how Trump seems to have no verbal filter and often says disparaging things about the military that he claims to respect.

More to the point is this NRO article from May:

"The political damage of Donald Trump to the Republican party is completely overshadowed by the damage he can do to the country and to the world with his unending reckless and irresponsible statements. Just this week, Trump blithely remarked that South Korea should be left to its own defenses.

Whatever the merits or demerits of that as a policy, announcing it to the whole world in advance risks encouraging North Korea to invade South Korea—as it did back in 1950, after careless words by a high American official left the impression that South Korea was not included in the American defense perimeter against the Communists in the Pacific.

The old World War II phrase 'loose lips sink ships' applies on land as well as on the water. And no one has looser lips than Donald Trump, who repeatedly spouts whatever half-baked idea pops into his head. A man in his 60s has life-long habits that are not likely to change. Age brings habits, even if it does not bring maturity."

This observation dovetails with the Donald Trump I see on video. He may be savvy and subtle when it comes to business, but as a politician, he's hiding those qualities very well.

TheBigHenry said...


I get where you are coming from. And, of course, when it comes to opinion, there is seldom a right and a wrong one. Opinion is just opinion. So I will honor your opinion by reducing my counter opinion from "preposterous" to merely "very doubtful from my own point of view".

And one of the reasons I am still doubtful is that one must take into account that Trump's occasional verbal recklessness on the campaign trail has to do with his inexperience in political campaigning, on the world's grandest scale no less. I also would question the inexperience and/or capabilities of his advisory staff. I do not believe his apparently manic behavior at times during the campaign, attacked as he is continuously by bitter and much more experienced political opponents, is the kind of leadership he is capable of in less chaotic circumstances, and with the aid of knowledgeable advisors.

Kevin Kim said...


I guess we'll know more—or not—come November.