Attorney General Jeff Sessions Announces Crackdown on WH Leaks
8/5/17, 12:35 pm EDT
By John Corry, photo from MyAJC
Trump Administration Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced early Friday morning that his department intends to 'crackdown' on white house leakers giving classified information, particularly to media sources, saying: “We respect the important role that the press plays, and will give them respect, but it is not unlimited. They cannot place lives at risk with impunity. We must balance the press’s role with protecting our national security, and the lives of those that serve in the intelligence community, the armed forces, and all law-abiding Americans.”
The announcement comes after months of anonymous sources plaguing the Trump administration on everything from internal drama, the advent of learning Trumpian discourse (how big are my hands? 'No problem down there'), and of course, The Russian Question. The latest came a day before The Washington Post published transcripts of two phone calls Trump had with foreign leaders, one with Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto and the other with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
As with everything Trump related, there's been a lot of HOOBLA! regarding the revelations begot from these transcripts, particularly in the way Trump seems to think about foreign policy, as the transcripts clearly show that, at least as of right now (and the last thirty years?), Trump cares more about public appearance and publicity than he does about enacting good foreign policy, or potentially anything related to actual policy and/or governmental processes. In the call, he tells Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto regarding the infamous 'border wall' that, 'They are going to say, “who is going to pay for the wall, Mr. President?” to both of us, and we should both say, “we will work it out.” It will work out in the formula somehow. As opposed to you saying, “we will not pay” and me saying, “we will not pay."'
Trump also threatened tariffs on Mexican goods and asks Peña Nieto to 'stop saying publicly that Mexico will not pay for the wall', but that is all kind of irrelevant here. What is relevant is that, for the first time that I can recall, we have a private presidential phone call on record published by The Washington Post for us all to laugh at as we continue to pretend that presidents are more-than-human.
Despite his efforts to convince us otherwise, many Americans do realize that Donald Trump at least is a little less than 'more-than-human', but that's a pretty penny everybody who's anybody has been talking about for months (Trump's rather 'robust' sense of self). What's at stake in the context of 'the leaker question' is a much bigger idea: what happens to democracy or the role/practice of government when the thought that a government can actually have secrets is thrown out the window?
I've said before that democracy cannot exist in a world where any 'democratic government' can withhold information from its citizens. I've realized how much of a pickle this makes–with the way the world is right now (and it has always been), the government has to withhold information from its 'citizens', for 'security' reasons–but that does not change the fact that said government can only be a sort of 'quasi-democracy', if democracy is defined as 'a government by the people, for the people'. If the government can keep secrets from its citizens, its citizens are perforated to a status inherently beneath the government, rendering the government no longer 'a government by the people', as it would only be in theory in this case. People have tried to tell me, in response to this: 'As if the government would ever be honest with its citizens', which is exactly my point.
This idea, however, is not an Absolute insofar as time is not convoluted in the 'now' in this reality, meaning: it will take time for this understanding to come to fruition, as the past has come to aid understanding of the present, assuming, of course, that my statement has any merit (which it probably doesn't :/). This then brings up the point: how does it (potentially) 'come to fruition?'
Whatever the answer, it isn't by purposely-yet-unmindfully damaging America's national security by potentially releasing its secrets to its self-proclaimed enemies.
I like Ed Snowden. I like Chelsea Manning (more on this in a moment). There's lately been an ongoing awakening in the American subconscious that is realizing America's responsibility to question what political theory is, what democracy is, and how it works in the present, and, therefore, the growing, world. This has always been our main role in global politics, as an institution. We got lazy after the country formed and we generally stopped doing this, although that may have also been due to external factors (like the fact that some really fucked up shit's happened over the past two-hundred years).
It is not hard to realize that there is a need right now, as there always has been and in every circumstance, to keep our executives in check–to keep power in check–and it is not a well-kept secret, despite the government's apparent attempt to keep it as such, that the president today has WAY more power than she did in 1776, or than she was originally meant to in the Constitution. America needs to be in constant conflagration with this, as it is pretty much the basic principle that started the country, and that still keeps it going today. It is why we have had the impact that we've had, why we still have the impact that we do now, and, if we lose it, we lose ourselves.
But is there a line?
Kim probably shouldn't know our nuclear codes...
Let's just hope this 'crackdown' is not the same as Sessions' crackdown on marijuana. Is that stupid? No way, marijuana is cancer...
How high are you?