Monthly Archives: February 2017

Flynn Leaks

I find 2 things strange about the Flynn leaks:

1) The intel guys always worry about “sources and methods.” The Flynn leaks remind the Russians that we are listening to every one of their calls. They expect it, but Americans were shocked that we listened to all of Angela Merkel’s calls, too. Is Russia the enemy, or do we just listen to everybody everywhere?

2) Before 9/11 and the Patriot Act there were very tight restrictions on listening to American citizens. NSA was forbidden, and if they got an American by accident they had to protect it from distribution. The FBI could tap Americans, but had to get a court order. The Patriot Act and the FISA court apparently made it easier for both agencies to listen in on Americans. .

But any tapping of Flynn as an American should have been subject to high level review and protection. The leaking exposes intelligence info to the Russians (presumably aiding the enemy) and probably violates Flynn’s 4th Amendment protection from searches and seizures. If they prosecute Flynn, this evidence may not be admissible in court, like the confessions obtained by torture at Guantanamo. Spying is a dirty business. It’s interesting that the media loves the 1st Amendment, but not the 4th.

North Korean Missile Test

The main US news shows – CBS, NBC, ABC, etc. – have been going nuts saying the North Korean missile test was timed to take place during Trump’s dinner with Abe. Fortunately, I have seen former Ambassador Christopher Hill correctly say on BBC and one other show that the main concern for North Korea was testing the missile and that it was unlikely to have been specifically timed to challenge Trump.

It sounds like this was a new type missile, probably one using solid fuel rather than liquid, and therefore it was not just a rocket North Korea had lying around to launch whenever it wanted to. The media has played it up to make Trump look like a stupid wimp who doesn’t know how to respond to North Korea. They made a big deal about the fact that he discussed the launch during dinner and was reading papers by flashlight. The other interpretation of this incident is that Trump wasn’t panicked by the launch and didn’t let it interrupt his dinner. Furthermore he was able to consult with Japanese Prime Minister Aba in real time about it. Abe was much more affected by the launch than Trump, since Japan is much closer to North Korea. Trump was able to reassure Abe immediately that the US stood firmly with him.

The incident could well be interpreted as a show of strength rather than weakness, if the media had been so inclined. Jonathan Karl was almost livid as he falsely described the huge threat represented by the launch and Trump’s amateurish response. Karl struck me as a coward who was actually afraid. He should not be allowed to cover military news.

Trump’s Immigration Order and Indonesia

It is odd that Democrats and the media have interpreted Trump’s order restricting entry from seven counties as being a ban on all Muslims. The most populous Muslim nation is Indonesia. In all the press coverage, I haven’t heard anybody mention Indonesia. Apparently the Democrats and the media are not interested in moderate, peaceful Muslims. They are only interested in militant Muslims in countries where the women wear burkas or other extreme head covering.

How can Trump be accused of imposing a Muslim ban, if his visa order does not affect the nation with the most Muslims, most of which are relatively moderate.