Employers typically avoid hiring an employee that is incompetent because they have the foresight to go through a careful vetting process most employees are unaware of. Incompetence, like ignorance, can kill a business depending on the nature of services or products they offer, but when a customer’s safety is put at risk due to incompetence, any competent business owner will terminate a careless employee if for no other reason than avoiding lawsuits. It may not seem to be the case, but there are more professions and jobs that can have an adverse effect on citizens’ health and lives than one might think.
Of course an incompetent mechanic who forgets to tighten a wheel’s lug nuts or connect a brake line could be liable for material damages and physical injuries in a car crash when the brakes failed or the wheels fell off. It is a similar situation when a medical professional’s incompetence leads to an unnecessary death whether that death is from a sloppy surgeon or careless nurse administering the wrong medicine. In those cases there are laws and the judicial system to hold the incompetent professional accountable. There is no such thing for a president when Republicans control all three branches of government and it is why Trump will get away with endangering the life of a close ally’s agent.
As a few people have noted, when incompetent and ignorant Trump shared Israel’s highly classified intelligence with Trump’s close friends in the Kremlin, he put at great risk the Israeli operative who infiltrated ISIS and provided the intelligence Trump may as well have made public. ABC News reported that according to several current and former American officials, when Trump disclosed classified information to the Russians, “he put the life of a spy placed by Israel inside ISIS at risk.”
It is irrelevant what the Trump told the Russian officials last week, even if it was because he is compromised and indebted to Vladimir Putin to divulge U.S intelligence secrets. What matters is that he threw America’s closest ally in the Middle East under the bus and threw one of their operatives to the hungry lions in ISIS. Perhaps the next time American intelligence officials warn Israel, or any of our allies, to be particularly careful about sharing information with the new administration for fear of exactly what happened, they will pay closer attention. Intel officials in the Obama Administration did warn the Israelis and now one of their spies is likely compromised.
However, it is not that the Israelis failed to take what they surmised were the necessary precautions in telling the intelligence community to keep the highly-classified intel as secret as humanly possible, including not sharing it throughout the government; something all reporting says they certainly did. But they underestimated Trump’s incompetence and instead of sharing it throughout the government, in a fit of braggadocio he shared it with a hostile foreign adversary that happens to be a very close ally with Israel’s sworn enemy Iran.
Israel has repeatedly warned American officials that it would put a screeching halt to access to such sensitive information if it were to be shared too widely, according to one former American official. Besides putting the life of an Israeli spy at risk, there is justifiable fear that Russian intelligence will easily determine exactly how the information was collected and be able to easily disrupt Israel’s espionage efforts. The Russians don’t even have to waste one nano-second determining where the information was collected because Trump told them. Part of that fear on the part of Israel is Russia’s very close ties and allegiance to Iran. It is something that any competent government official is already aware of and it is added proof that Donald Trump is not only a corrupt criminal, he is either the epitome of incompetence or is deeper in debt to Vladimir Putin than anyone can possibly imagine; likely it is a combination of the two.
As many commentators have noted, of course a president can share whatever information they want with impunity, but this is a different story and more than just a breach of intelligence sharing protocol; especially when it compromises America’s staunchest ally in the Middle East and puts the life of their agent at serious risk. As the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) noted:
“The White House has got to do something soon to bring itself under control and in order. It’s got to happen. To compromise [an intelligence] source is something that you just don’t do, and that’s why we keep the information we get from intelligence sources so close as to prevent that from happening.”
Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) is vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and he had a similar assessment to Senator Corker’s. He said on Twitter: “This is a slap in the face to the intel community. Risking sources and methods is inexcusable, particularly with the Russians.”
The ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee was not nearly as diplomatic as either Senator Corker or Warner. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) lashed out at dumb Donnie and said:
“President Trump’s recklessness with sensitive information is deeply disturbing and clearly problematic. The president of the United States has the power to share hare classified information with whomever they wish, but the American people expect the president to use that power wisely.”
In this case, Trump’s recklessness not only put Israel’s intelligence-gathering abilities at risk, his need to boast put an Israeli operative’s life at risk by revealing highly-classified intelligence, and the location from where it was collected. One can only imagine the Israelis, particularly their powerful spy agency Mossad, are fuming and carefully considering what method of retribution to impose on Trump, and it is likely that very few people on the planet could possibly blame them.
There are many theories floating around about what drove Trump’s latest dangerous action; is he compromised by Putin, did his ego push him to boast he knew a secret few in the government were aware of, or is he as incompetent as he is corrupt; something a growing number of Americans have finally come to realize. Regardless if it is incompetence or corruption, Trump’s latest action seriously jeopardized America’s standing and partnerships with each and every one of its intelligence gathering allies around the world to either impress or repay Vladimir Putin.