According to The Washington Post, Trump has leaked sensitive material to the Russians, but our reaction to it makes me believe that we’ve learned nothing from history.
Old habits die hard. And for those who tiptoe through the familiar streets of home, scarf around neck, one eye skyward at the first signs of nuclear winter, those feelings of distrust didn’t evaporate when the sun came out. With the skies seemingly overcast once more, it seems again we’re creeping toward the steel trap of Cold War thinking, and that has much to do with the tangerine man in the white house.
As reported by The Washington Post, President Trump apparently disclosed “highly classified” information to Russian ambassador Kislyak and foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, information apparently so sensitive in nature that it was deemed unsuitable for fellow allies and some branches of the American government. Fanning the bonfire of suspicion further, is that the meeting apparently occurred soon after Trump fired FBI director James Comey for his investigation into Russian ties with the US government.
Yes, my eyebrow peaked too. But beyond suspicious timing, and the content, all we have is questions. Questions that surely will remain unanswered. And frankly, in the information age, we can’t abide not knowing. We can’t handle that, and thusly we overreact. What was in Hillary’s emails? Better vote Trump.
Our story is more restrained than the president was in talking to Russian officials. pic.twitter.com/t0s4husAxR
— Paul Farhi (@farhip) May 15, 2017
We’re accustomed to knowing everything because everything is always only a few seconds away, but what we have here is a lot of not much. There’s a Manhattan-esque collection of towering headlines that shadow the pavement, sentiments ironically echoed by a source in conversation with BuzzFeed who stated “it’s far worse than what has already been reported”, and the gaps are being filled-in in our own minds. This piece is even evidence of that.
But, Mark Warner (who’s a Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee) grasped the prevailing wind direction on Twitter.
If true, this is a slap in the face to the intel community. Risking sources & methods is inexcusable, particularly with the Russians. https://t.co/CRiSC024F7
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) May 15, 2017
Paranoia. Loose lips sink ships. As illustrated in Dr Strangelove, they’ll see the big board.
The truth is not always a pleasant thing, but it seems that the truth is the first casualty of Trump’s civil war with his intelligence community, bleeding on the floor, watching The Don lopping off heads, loosening the belt, allowing protocol to fall to the floor around his ankles. That automatic feeling of betrayal and that ancient fear of nuclear annihilation rises up to the throat and chokes off blood to the brain, leaving us to operate on primordial autopilot.
And that makes us do stupid fucking things.
Throughout history, we’ve acted through this suspicion before. We don’t know, so we assume the worst, and therefore we do our worst. Looking back objectively, that same fear of the unknown, and the safeguarding of our most treasured chestnuts to the top branch has enabled the wall in Berlin, the botched invasion of Cuba, and the crisis afterwards, the arms race, the spooling list of wars fought by proxy (Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, most of Latin America, Syria), and recently, the fears that the reds are listening, and that they’ve installed their vile ginger weed in the White House by something inherently American. Fat millennial nerds.
Also on The Big Smoke
- When reality becomes fiction: Trump living Clancy fantasy
- From Russia, with Trump: The truth about his links to Putin
This might be a leap to a conclusion of my own, but what the fuck? If I’m correct in analysing the whole Russia angle, in that the Soviets are on some level controlling the White House, we all need to get our heads checked. That sort of rhetoric wouldn’t have flown in the throes of the cocaine-induced paranoia of Reagan’s America, and it absolutely shouldn’t now. Not in the land of the woke.
Yes, Trump shouldn’t have told them, because it’s a secret, and you shouldn’t tell secrets, but in this complicated relationship, we’ve tried that before, and the keeping of secrets manifests distrust, and that distrust forces them to go through your phone while you’re asleep, and soon thereafter, emotional walls are built. And on those walls are people with guns. So unless we’d all rather pick up a rifle and stand a post, I say we handle the truth when it arrives, flicking the safety on our machine gun rhetoric instead of firing blindly from the hip at the vague outlines of something past the wire.
In the final analysis, the people who fear communist encirclement, or squirrel food in preparation for that nuclear winter, have wagged the lessons of history. Yes, there’s something tangible here. A meeting happened, and something sensitive may have changed hands in that meeting. But by shoehorning the events to our easiest definitions asphyxiates the voice of logic within.