What’s More Dangerous: Leaks, or an Incompetent President Unfit for Office?

The leaks are a symptom, not the disease
Opinion • Views: 30,964

When transcripts of Donald Trump’s calls with foreign leaders were published yesterday by the Washington Post, many people were disturbed that this information was leaked to the press, pointing out that it’s dangerous and destabilizing when a president’s private calls don’t remain private.

And now, our far right Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced a crackdown on leaks, threatening to begin subpoenaing reporters who publish leaked information.

But this is precisely the wrong lesson to learn from this incident. My take on it is much more in line with this one by Brian Beutler: Keep the Trump Leaks Coming.

The most immediate effect of the disclosures, though, wasn’t to recenter the national political debate on the question of Trump’s obvious unfitness for his job, but to prompt a separate debate over the propriety of the leak.

“Leaking the transcript of a presidential call to a foreign leader is unprecedented, shocking, and dangerous,” argued The Atlantic’s David Frum. “It is vitally important that a president be able to speak confidentially—and perhaps even more important that foreign leaders understand that they can reply in confidence.”

National leaders should indeed need to be able to trust that their discussions with one another will remain secure. But we are far from the point where foreign leaders assume transcripts of their calls with Trump, let alone future presidents, will end up on the front pages. Many have been quick to assume that this leak will have a chilling effect on U.S. relations with other countries, without stopping to ponder the likelihood that some foreign leaders might be relieved to learn that factions within the U.S. government are taking extraordinary steps to weaken this particular president.

If there are norms worth fretting over here, they aren’t the ones that govern whistleblowing, but the ones that should govern what U.S. political leaders do when the president is too incompetent to serve. It is because of their cowardice—their refusal to uphold norms they were elected and appointed to guard—that these transcripts leaked in the first place.

Are leaks like this dangerous? Maybe so. But in my opinion it’s far more dangerous that we have an incompetent, incoherent buffoon in the Oval Office — in an administration that’s increasingly dominated by extreme right wing military members. And that danger needs much more attention, because it’s destroying the standing of the United States in the world community and putting us all in very great peril.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
This Is the Kit - Full Performance (Live on KEXP) kexp.org presents This Is The Kit performing live in the KEXP studio. Recorded November 28, 2017. Songs:Empty No TeethBullet ProofMoonshine FreezeSolid Grease Host: Troy NelsonAudio Engineer: Kevin SuggsCameras: Jim Beckmann, Scott Holpainen & Justin WilmoreEditor: Justin Wilmore kexp.orgthisisthekit.co.uk ...
Thanos
13 hours, 55 minutes ago
Views: 84 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Starry Starry Night -Lianne La Havas Provided to YouTube by Warner Music Group Starry Starry Night · Lianne La Havas Loving Vincent (Original Soundtrack) ℗ 2017 Un Pundeas De Monetas, Inc. Under exclusive license to Éditions Milan Music Featured Vocals: Lianne La HavasComposer: Don McLean ...
Thanos
14 hours, 3 minutes ago
Views: 87 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
LGF Sunday Morning Wakeup Playlist
Unshaken Defiance
18 hours, 20 minutes ago
Views: 88 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Masterpiece Theater-Little WomenTonight Masterpiece Theater presents Little Women. This latest production promises to be a good one with some well known actors and actresses. The March girls are played by relative unknowns. Please check your local PBS stations for the times in ...
PhillyPretzel
1 week ago
Views: 365 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Ry Cooder - the Prodigal Son (Live in Studio) "The Prodigal Son", Ry' Cooder's first new solo release in six years, is set for release May 11, 2018! Pre-order / stream "The Prodigal Son" here: found.ee Directed by Jeff Coffman Follow Ry:Official Website: rycooder.comFacebook: facebook.comInstagram: instagram.com LYRICSnow, the ...
Thanos
1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 472 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Charlie Puth - ‘How Long’ [Official Video] Download and Stream "How Long": atlantic.lnk.to Pre-Order Voicenotes: atlantic.lnk.to Exclusive VoiceNotes Merchandise Bundles Available Here: smarturl.it Follow Charlie:charlieputh.comtwitter.comfacebook.cominstagram.com THE VOICENOTES TOURwith Charlie Puth and Hailee SteinfeldTickets & VIP: charlieputh.com #VoicenotesTour Dates:07/11 – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage07/13 – Boston, ...
Thanos
1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 197 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Welles - Rock N Roll [Audio Only] PreOrder Welles Album "Red Trees and White Trashes" featuring "Seventeen" and "Rock N Roll"ffm.to Listen to Rock N Roll: ffm.toListen to Seventeen: ffm.to CONNECT: wellesmusic.comfacebook.cominstagram.com@wellesmusic--ROCK N ROLLdoesn't eatdoesn't sleepdoes drugsjus shrugs & says leave me beROCK N ROLLis a ...
Thanos
2 weeks ago
Views: 269 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
WALK the MOON - Kamikaze (Official Video) Get WALK THE MOON's new album 'What If Nothing' featuring "Kamikaze" and "One Foot":iTunes - wtmband.comSpotify - wtmband.comApple Music - wtmband.comAmazon - wtmband.comGoogle Play - wtmband.comMerch Store - wtmband.com Catch WTM On Tour - wtmband.com Follow WALK THE MOON:walkthemoonband.comfacebook.com@WALKTHEMOONbandinstagram.com ...
Thanos
2 weeks ago
Views: 632 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Trump Is Watching You Closer Than You Watch Him, Thanks NSA I would love to see my friends offer a string of sensible suggestions for protecting our meta data, our digital privacy as best we can in the comments. Technology cuts both ways. Corporation and governments have scale, money. We ...
Unshaken Defiance
2 weeks, 1 day ago
Views: 672 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 4
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Jacob Collier - Fields of Gold (BBC Radio Scotland Session)Just Jacob and a piano: first ever recording of a spell-binding cover, live from BBC Scotland's Pacific Quay in Glasgow. For more: bbc.co.uk
Thanos
2 weeks, 6 days ago
Views: 1,169 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0