03 Sep Secrets Exposed by Affidavit: What it Means for America
“Is Donald Trump a Compromiser of American Secrets? Criminal implications be damned! Fallout from the Mar-a-Lago Papers will weaken America and strengthen its enemies.” – The Lonely Realist
The DOJ Affidavit isn’t about Donald Trump. It’s not about affidavits. It’s about the exposure of America’s poorly-protected secrets!
TLR has written repeatedly about how America’s economic sanctions and tariffs targeting China, Russia, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and others have created an axis of enemies … which TLR long ago labeled the Axis of the Sanctioned. America’s declared enemies constitute 25% of the world’s population – 2 billion people! – and although each Axis member has different goals, they all agree that their common enemy is America, that America’s economic and foreign policies are antithetical to their interests, and that by concerted action they can undermine America’s strengths and the effectiveness of its sanctions. As a result, they are waging a coordinated war that includes economic and military cooperation and diversified offensives utilizing cyberwarfare, targeted technology advances, media manipulation, and resource and manufacturing monopolization. The Russian government news agency TASS has confirmed that “Russia and Iran are strengthening relations in light of Western sanctions … as their international isolation drives the two staunch American foes toward more trade and military cooperation.” It was only last year that America’s news media acknowledged the existence of the Axis and increased their coverage of its members’ common goals. Wall Street Journal editorials have discussed the “China-Iran Axis.” The New York Times has reported that there is an “Alliance of Autocracies.” The Times of London wrote that “Russia Seeks Alliance with China to Beat U.S. Sanctions.” Bloomberg says that “China, Russia and Iran Are Slowly Ganging Up on the US.” And The Economist has often addressed how America’s tariffs and sanctions have bonded the interests of China, Russia, Iran, North Korea and Venezuela. The media also has reported on joint military exercises by Russia and China, by Iran, Russia and China and by India, Russia and China, China’s and Iran’s vocal support of Russia’s Ukraine Invasion and the fact that China, Iran and Turkey have been important economic and arms suppliers to Russia, Russia and Saudi Arabia are the leading suppliers of crude oil to China (with Angola and Brazil next (countries with 3% of the world’s population)), and Russia is the top supplier of both arms and oil to India (a nation with 18% of the world’s population).
America’s response to increasing Axis cooperation has been marred by inconsistent policy-making and execution by the Obama and Trump Administrations. Even though the Biden Administration is attempting to strengthen bonds with Europe, Japan and other allies (those allies account for less than 10% of the world’s population) and to court China’s enemies, notably India and Turkey (those two nations accounting for 19% of the world’s population), that effort now will stall because America’s allies no longer will share sensitive intelligence with America …, all because of the Mar-a-Lago Papers. Moreover, their agents and representatives will be extra careful in what they communicate to their American counterparts.
The world over the last 20 years has watched as America has been reduced (or reduced itself) from global hegemon to strident global trade warrior. One consequence of America’s ineffective foreign policies is that America now is engaged in a spiraling Cold War II with China and a hot proxy war in Ukraine, both of which stretch America’s economic and military capabilities. The coup de grâce to faith in American leadership was delivered by former President Trump in his treatment of the Mar-a-Lago Papers. This is not the first time President Trump treated state secrets as his personal property to use as he sees fit. In his first year in office, the President in a meeting with Russian government representatives disclosed sensitive, classified information provided by a close ally, subsequently declaring that he had the absolute right to have done so. America’s allies overlooked this faux pas as a learning experience for a new President. That is not possible with respect to the Mar-a-Lago Papers, where Mr. Trump, after four years as President, has taken an extreme position by asserting that, as a former President, he has the unfettered right to (1) retain and remove classified documents from the White House, (2) store classified documents in unsecured locations (including at the Mar-a-Lago Club where they were potentially accessible to both members and guests), and (3) treat state secrets as being declassified without formal review, notice or process. Because these positions have been clearly-stated and are being repeated in Mr. Trump’s defense by his legal and political teams, allies and non-aligned nations alike will be deterred from sharing classified information with America. It no longer matters what the DOJ affidavit says or what a court decides! If you were Israel or Great Britain, would you now trust secrets to America?
The Mar-a-Lago Papers therefore will weaken America and strengthen America’s enemies. The end of the Cold War with Russia led America to mistakenly believe that by overcoming its communist enemies it had attained hegemonic nirvana. American foreign policy subsequently focused on the utopian ideal of spreading democratic doctrine across the globe. With few exceptions, successive Presidents emphasized universalism and shied away from realpolitik. Those policies were a mistake. They undermined American interests, damaged America’s relationships with its allies and benefited an increasingly cohesive Axis of Enemies. Years of American sloganeering, hollow threats, Presidential discomfort with the projection of American military power, and ineffective sanctioning and tariffing only strengthened that Axis. Revelations about the Mar-a-Lago Papers now have dealt a serious blow to America’s international stature and credibility. Immediate action is necessary to restore trust in America and maximize its intelligence-gathering capabilities. The priority of the Biden Administration, of both Political Parties, and of Congress must be to agree on practices and procedures going forward that will ensure the comprehensive protection of state secrets. Both Parties also need to recognize that inconsistent foreign policy goals pursued by alternating Administrations only further what many experts see as America’s inexorable decline. America’s leaders no longer can speak loudly and carry a little stick (as President Obama did in drawing a red line with invisible ink in the Syrian sand, as President Trump did in making empty threats of “fire and fury” against North Korea, and as President Biden did in abandoning Afghanistan). With America’s extremists crowding out the middle, there has been little bandwidth to deal effectively with America’s very real, very dangerous international problems … and, yes, Virginia, America has serious, potentially calamitous problems outside its partisan domestic ones. America ignores those problems at its peril.
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Finally (from a good friend)
How the Fight Started
My wife sat down next to me as I was flipping channels. She asked, “What’s on TV?” I said, “Dust.” And then the fight started….
Saturday morning I got up early, quietly dressed, made my lunch, and slipped quietly into the garage. I hooked the boat up to the van and proceeded to back out into a torrential downpour. The wind was blowing 50 mph, so I pulled back into the garage, turned on the radio, and discovered that the weather would be bad all day. I went back into the house, quietly undressed, and slipped back into bed. I cuddled up to my wife’s back, now with a different anticipation, and whispered, “The weather out there is terrible.” My loving wife of 5 years replied, “And can you believe my stupid husband is out fishing in that?” And that’s how the fight started….
My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming anniversary. She said, “I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 150 in about 3 seconds.” I bought her a bathroom scale. And then the fight started….
After retiring, I went to the Social Security office to apply for Social Security. The woman behind the counter asked me for my driver’s license to verify my age. I looked in my pockets and realized I had left my wallet at home. I told the woman that I was very sorry, but I would have to go home and come back later. The woman said, “Unbutton your shirt.” So I opened my shirt revealing my curly silver hair. She said, “That silver hair on your chest is proof enough for me” and she processed my Social Security application. When I got home, I excitedly told my wife about my experience at the Social Security office. She said, “You should have dropped your pants. You might have gotten disability too.” And that’s when the fight started….
My wife was standing nude, looking in the bedroom mirror. She was not happy with what she saw and said to me, “I feel horrible. I look old, fat and ugly. I really need you to pay me a compliment.” I replied, “Your eyesight’s damn near perfect.” And then the fight started….