By Bob Klaus
Marcia Kirpatrick ("Sticking with his party", Comment, 1 June 2017) advised us that she found "President Trump's casual release of highly confidential [sic] information to visiting Russian diplamats" … "quite scary". I would like to reassure her. First of all, even if we do not trust the Russians very far, we are seeking to cooperate with them on several legitimate issues, off-hand to include pooling resources and efforts against international terrorism and influencing the direction of the Syrian state, which might warrant some candor in our relationship. We would protect "sources and methods", first of all just to be coy, but second to not compromise those sources. But we would definitely bring something to the table, to promote cooperation and enable progress.
I held DoD Classified clearances and access for 48 continuous years, and for all but 5 of those years higher access. I can assure you that, throughout that period, all of my training consistently told me that the classification authority was via the Executive Branch, who all ultimately obey the lawful orders of the President. Therefore, if he decided to selectively de-classify something, it was completely legal and in conformance with protocols. Mr. Garrett's failure to get excited over your concern about National Security is consistent with national security norms.
I can further assure her that leaking elements of ANY classified material to news media does NOT conform to those norms, and is indeed a "Big Deal" that needs to be interdicted for the sake of that national security she is so concerned about. I can also assure her that, among security professionals, finding that a government official considered that storing SIGINT on an unclassified server protected by the password "P-A-S-S-W-O-R-D" is just a "nothing-burger" would be highly consternating. As in, I would have had either of those individuals under charges and under lock and key as fast as I could effect it.
Perhaps she can encourage Mr. Garrett to pursue these issues to productively support national security and protect his constituency. Ms. Kirpatrick should expand her resources, and not just transcribe Rachel Maddow rants, when she shares her concerns with us.
Originally published on RappNet, Rappahannock News
Robert "Bob" Klaus (Amissville) is a true patriot, freedom lover and an honest, just Conservative