Tuesday, October 18, 2016

American election comments

*  Donald Trump and his "rigged election" rhetoric is clearly dangerous in a country full of armed-to-the-hilt, conspiracy minded nutters who are encouraged to believe (and easily convinced) that Clinton is a dangerous criminal who wants to take their guns from them.   The mildly worded counterclaims by Republicans (such as Pence) don't seem to be anywhere near enough of a rebuke, and if Trump keeps this up, he really deserves calling out and complete repudiation from the highest levels.  It's much more serious, in its way, than the groping allegations.  (And none of this "he doesn't mean voter fraud - he means the way the media is against him" excuse making I've heard from some of his supporters.)

* There is so little appreciation of the matter of government security classification of communications in the general public that is it easy for them to think that Clinton's classified emails that ended up on her private server were really important stuff.  This is distorting the public perception of her "wrongdoing", and Trump and Republicans are taking full advantage of that.  But even the liberal media is not really helping to clarify public understanding.  This article from back in July sets out this basic point:
An important thing to understand is that the determination of what information is classified is subjective. This means reasonable people can disagree about the relative sensitivity of particular information.

Before coming to academia, I worked for many years as an analyst at both the State Department and the Department of Defense. I held a top secret clearance and worked on issues related to weapons of mass destruction and their proliferation. Debates and arguments about whether certain information should be classified were frequent. More often than not the debates centered on why something was classified in the first place. This is why determining whether Secretary Clinton was careless is not a cut and dried issue.
Well, it's fair to say she was careless - but the consequences of the carelessness are something that is not at all clear, and it is quite possibly very inconsequential from a national security point of view.   

1 comment:

not trampis said...

Careless in taking the advice of Colin Powell and copying him when he was Secretary of State.

A very good example who has little political smarts.

She is so lucky she is only against a lunatic