Enough with the fucking secret memos already: https://t.co/j59zJtzGHA
— Defector (@DefectorMedia) January 27, 2023
The media’s already bored with the existing revelations, but I have a feeling there will be more surprises as the (sigh) 2024 primaries heat up. Justin Ellis, at Defector:
We are a petty and venal and lazy species on balance, and there is no distance the human mind can’t quickly traverse to convince itself that something you want won’t be missed. In this calculus, the most important factor is opportunity, and what better window is there than when you leave your job?
There is, of course, some difference between letting a pair of Skechers fall in your lap on the way out the door from Foot Locker, and, say, snagging that memo listing Kim Jong-un’s favorite episodes of Rick and Morty after you’ve run out the clock on your time in the Oval Office.
With the revelation that Joe Biden, as well as Donald Trump, had classified documents stuffed away in their homes, the keepers of the nation’s collective memory are growing worried that former presidents are hoarding stacks of sensitive files in their mud rooms or junk drawers…
The whole mess was made worse this week when Mike Pence signaled that he, too, had “inadvertently boxed and transported” classified papers back to his suburban manse in Indiana. Now everybody that held office as far back as the Reagan administration is on notice. (Jimmy Carter is exempt from tearing up his attic; the Presidential Records Act went into effect after he left office.)…
Context matters here. Trump used the Secret Service to rack up tabs at his namesake hotels. He is also the man whose protracted tantrum after losing the election gave way to an insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. Whether Trump was looking to use the files to cut deals with dictators or create a shadow box, he filled his suitcase with state secrets, however important or banal they might be, while displaying the same level of forethought generally associated with stealing a commemorative mug from Hooters. This is typically dumb, and potentially dangerous, but it is also another signal that the many veils of security clearance placed around aspects of doing the public’s business have gotten way out of hand…
Typically it takes an Edward Snowden or Chelsea Manning to remind the public of the sinister campaigns that the government conducts behind the classified lines of a memo. But beyond special favors to allies, the usual greed mongering, and ill-conceived foreign combat fantasies, the government puts entirely too much shit in the Top Secret bucket. As Elizabeth Goitein, who studied national security at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, told NBC News: “You have 50 million classification decisions each year—90 percent of which are probably unnecessary. That’s a lot of rules that have to be complied with every hour of every day. And some of that is going to slip.”
Enough with the fucking memos already.