It was only a matter of time (Godwin’s Law)

Here’s Trump:

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-10-56-03-amI recall a story suggesting that when Bush left office he told Obama something to the effect, “Whatever you do, don’t piss off the CIA.”

Can someone confirm?

PS.  Matt Yglesias gets it exactly right.

PPS.  Before getting comments, perhaps I should point out that I don’t “believe” the recent allegations.



25 Responses to “It was only a matter of time (Godwin’s Law)”

  1. Gravatar of H_WASSHOI H_WASSHOI
    11. January 2017 at 09:02

    I like this market volatility

  2. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    11. January 2017 at 10:39

    “PS. Matt Yglesias gets it exactly right.”

    -If you literally believe that, you are literally a Nazi.

    “Can someone confirm?”

    -CIA was the most likely culprit in taking down Richard Nixon by telling the courts what excerpts of the Nixon tapes to subpoena.

    BTW, I’m opposed to the Tillerson pick now, as he’s far too Russophobic. I always supported Rohrabacher, who has a good record here (and incidentally represents district that went for HRC).

    Trump, naturally, is correct that “If Putin likes Donald Trump, guess what folks: That is called an asset, not a liability”.

  3. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    11. January 2017 at 11:06

    Heck, Sumner’s post even contains the infamous neo-Nazi code “14,88”! Scot Sumner really is a literal Nazi!

  4. Gravatar of Doug M Doug M
    11. January 2017 at 11:23

    The US Mexcio border is 2000 miles

    $ (38 Billion / 2000 miles)(1/5280 ft / mile) = $3,600 per linear foot.

    Who is building this wall!

  5. Gravatar of Doug M Doug M
    11. January 2017 at 11:24

    Sorry, comment is on the wrong thread.

  6. Gravatar of Sean Sean
    11. January 2017 at 11:30

    Trumps call on the Syrian Civil War was undoubtedly utilitarian correct. What is better a decade long civil war which Syria has become (500k dead? Millions displaced?) or a brutal Russian led end to the civil war thru brute strength and massacre with maybe 50k dead. The latter seems to be a best case scenario.

    Only other option to stop the long-term civil war in Syria would be US invovlement. But nation building like we did in Iraq isn’t something the US has the stomach for right now in terms of blood or money.

    The most likely thing in Trump tax returns is obvious. How much he benefited from NOL. My roommates family owns a couple skyscrapers and he has a small share. I’ve seen his tax returns. Tons of NOL to the point the government owes him money despite the fact the building has doubled in value since a 2008 purchase.

  7. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    11. January 2017 at 12:10


    Better to have sent 2 Marine corp divisions early on to clean out ISIS, along with the Kurds, seal the border with Syria, declare an independent Kurdistan and establish permanent bases there, and then launch into Syria to expand Kurdistan, destroy the Syrian airforce and create a no fly zone, and make sure Assad was defeated. We could’ve created some safe zones for refugees, to help stem the refugee tide that’s destabilized Europe, and is threatening EU and NATO cohesion.

    We would then be keeping Turkey out of Kurdish territory in Syria and Iraq, keeping Iran out of Sunni and Kurdish areas, and hence bringing some stability to the region on our terms.

    Most Americans are too ignorant and stupid to look at the big picture. Now Russia has outsized influence in the region, after making sure to behave as cruelly as possible to make the refugee crisis as bad as possible, while triangulating with Turkey and Iran against us. They used that new influence to help cut us out of negotiations and to successfully cut a deal with OPEC on oil output limits to help boost the Russian economy.

    None of what has happened was inevitable and surrendering to Putin as Trump’s wanted to do all along has played right into Putin’s hands.

  8. Gravatar of sean sean
    11. January 2017 at 13:03

    How could we have done your plan when WE FUNDED ISIS either directly with CIA funds that were earmarked to “moderate” rebels that ended up in ISIS or thru our allies – Saudis and other Arabs who are in a cold war with Iran and their proxies. This has always been a proxy war between Iran and Saudis and we were the idiots that thought it was a decent idea to encourage civil war between two groups funded by deep pocketed patrons.

    Our only way to have ended the Syrian War was to tell the Arabs to fuck off and give Iran/Russia a silent go ahead to push forward. Until we picked the Iran/Russia side instead of backing the Arab side the civil war would never end.

    Your solutions ignore the proxy war in Syria and was a diplomatic impossibility. Our only option was to come in with enough force to fight off a likely Iranian led insurrection in Syria which would have been very bloody. Iran would never allow their rivals to control Syria and be on their border.

  9. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    11. January 2017 at 13:22


    You don’t seem to understand. Under my plan, there would have been no funding of shadowy rebels. Anyone we were funding would have been fighting right in front of, if not along side US special forces and Marines.

    Also, you’re simply wrong about the sides involved. This was a war between Hezbollah, Assad, and Iran on one side, and the rebels, Kurds, Turks, and Saudi Arabia on the other, but it’s also been a continuation of the Turkey-Kurd conflict. Turkey, Kurdistan, and Saudi Arabia have long been allies in the region and are natural allies, given common interests. Now however, Russia has moved into closer relationships with Turkey and Saudi Arabia, due to our absence. We abandoned our allies.

    A stable middle east is in our interest. We’re the only country that could bring that stability on our terms and those most favorable to allies, except for the Turkey-versus-Kurdistan situation, which we could’ve resolved, but not in the way Turkey would have preferred. And by taking a piece of each Iraq and Syria for Kurdistan, we would have properly punished those who helped bring the instability about.

    Also, having military bases in Kurdistan would allow us to keep Iran in check generally.

  10. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    11. January 2017 at 13:23

    Doug, It will be a big beautiful wall, built with workers earning “prevailing wages”

  11. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    11. January 2017 at 13:34


    The hypocrisy in your post is unbelievable. For months you have been citing Hitler and the Nazis, juxtaposing it in posts about Trump.

    How you can write all this for the world is not only tragic, but at this point expected.

    Thanks for confirming niwdoG’s Law by the way, which is the law that states:

    “Any time a person mentions the Nazis or Hitler in the course of a debate, the probability of someone mentioning Godwin’s Law approaches 1.00 immediately”.


  12. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    11. January 2017 at 13:38

    I don’t “believe” the recent allegations.

    Any particular reason why quotes are surrounding the word believe? Is this another deceitful post?

  13. Gravatar of Ray Lopez Ray Lopez
    11. January 2017 at 14:00

    Yawn. Shorter summary of Sumner’s post: Sumner, Trump both invoke Godwin’s Law.

    If Sumner gets worked up about Trump now, before he’s actually in office, imagine how Scott will react once Donald actually does something controversial, like nuke North Korea (which would be a good thing if he does it right and takes out the North Korean leadership with a low-rad nuke, after ample warning and after telling all other major power nuclear enemies like RU, CHN that he’ll not ever use nukes against them, a sort of “Trump Doctrine”, but I digress).

  14. Gravatar of B Cole B Cole
    11. January 2017 at 16:45

    The federal government operates 17 different national security intelligence agencies.

    Trump is correct in being skeptical of the assessments of these agencies, which always seem to come to the most alarming assessments possible, and which do leak information and disinformation as suits their needs.

    It is disappointing to see the lack of perspective among pundits and commentators regarding national security agencies and a president of the United States.

    Scott Sumner was on the right track when he reported what Bush said to Obama: “Never piss off the CIA.”

    BTW, it was the CIA that told Bush that Iraq had WMD. “A slam dunk.”

    This issue is much larger than Trump.

  15. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    11. January 2017 at 18:34

    Food for thought:

    1. CIA syas Russia behind DNC hacks.

    2. Trump says maybe not, skeptical. Calls for paring back intelligence budgets, streamlining the 17 intelligence agencies (which in the post the WaPo has called an uncoordinated and expensive jumble).

    3. Intelligence agencies leak a report that Trump urinates on prostitutes in Moscow.

    4. As Bush told Obama, do not piss off the CIA.

    5. In a previous era, none dared cross J. Edgar Hoover.

    Keep an open mind folks.

  16. Gravatar of ChrisA ChrisA
    11. January 2017 at 22:34

    Scott – doesn’t you (perhaps) joking comment about “don’t piss of the CIA” worry you more than what Trump is doing? If there is a deep state apparatus in the US that works to undermine it’s democratically elected leader surely that is really bad news, much worse than Trump having not sufficiently negative views about Russia? This could be like Venezuela, where the popular candidate gets resisted by the state apparatus in unconstitutional ways (admittedly for good reasons) which then allows him to disband those institutions and become more powerful.

  17. Gravatar of Daniel Daniel
    12. January 2017 at 03:33

    So Trump wants to improve relations with Russia – and that automatically proves the KGB has dirt on him.

    Because only someone under Putin’s thumb would want such a thing.

    Scotty, when’s the last time you took your meds ?

  18. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    12. January 2017 at 05:02

    ‘Though this be madness, yet there’s method in it.’

    Or maybe it’s July 1993 all over again;

  19. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    12. January 2017 at 06:17

    And so Ray supports a US nuclear first strike on N. Korea. What could go wrong?

    Ben, You said:

    “Trump is correct in being skeptical of the assessments of these agencies, which always seem to come to the most alarming assessments possible, and which do leak information and disinformation as suits their needs.”

    Do you actually pay any attention to the news? First Trump said the claims were ridiculous, then he said they were true. Trump has never showed an ounce of “skepticism” on any issue in his entire life. He’s either all in, or he totally rejects. He lives in a black and white world. Don’t project your own views onto Trump.

    Chris, As you probably know, I’ve always favored dramatically scaling back out intelligence services. I very much worry about their power. I support Snowden. I do believe there is a deep state and I’ve argued that Gore would have gone to war with Iraq if elected, because the establishment wanted war.

    So you don’t need to convince me. On the other hand, given Trump’s authoritarian instincts, maybe it’s good in this case that the CIA won’t play ball with him. Imagine if our intelligence services became Trump’s lapdog.

    Daniel, Most Trump supporters have trouble with reading comprehension, but few are as clueless as you seem to be.

  20. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    12. January 2017 at 13:02

    The claims are still ridiculous, and there is no evidence they are true. Trump himself admits he knows nothing about computers.

    The CIA is not a libertarian institution.

  21. Gravatar of Daniel Daniel
    12. January 2017 at 14:42


    You just went full retard. Never go full retard

  22. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    12. January 2017 at 17:05

    Sumner must go full retard the same way fake news networks like CNN have to go full retard. They are on such shaky ground that any appeal to rationality or truth will force their entire worldview to collapse like a house of cards in their own minds.

  23. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    12. January 2017 at 20:17

    Scott Sumner:

    What you justifiably suspect is due to Trump’s erratic character could also be attributed to Trump’s capitulation. You have extended the timeline, but possibly lengthened and strengthened it.

    “First Trump said the claims were ridiculous, then he said they were true.”

    Timeline roughly goes like this:

    1. Intelligence agencies say unknown people in Russia hacked the DNC.

    2. Trump says 400-lb fat guy on bare mattress in Indiana did it.

    3. Intel says DNC-hack traced back to Russian entities, senior types.

    4. Trump says he is skeptical.

    5. Intel says Putin personally ordered DNC hack.

    5. Trump says he wants to pare back in intel budgets, streamline operations.

    6. Intel leaks report that Trump urinated on prostitutes in Moscow hotel, then says it does not know if report is verifiable.

    7. Trump says he now believes Putin hacked DNC, and does not know if he is going to get along with Putin.

    Trump is erratic? Or has he learned, “Never piss off the CIA.”

    Obviously, I do not know. But keep an open mind. Disinformation has been spread before and with telling effect.

    I found it refreshing that a US president would not accept on faith intel information, and I commended Trump for his skepticism.

    Had George Bush jr. been skeptical, we might be ahead $6 trillion or so as taxpayers, let alone the human suffering.

    You are correct—the pressure on Gore from leaked CIA documents and sources and the drums of war would have been overwhelming.

    Still, ponder the Eisenhower presidency—he often fought Congress for smaller military budgets and avoided foreign entanglements. His farewell speech is a classic unrivaled in the annals.

    If Eisenhower could do it then, someone can do it now.

    It wasn’t going to be Hillary.

  24. Gravatar of Postkey Postkey
    13. January 2017 at 07:03

    “And by taking a piece of each Iraq and Syria for Kurdistan, we would have properly punished those who helped bring the instability about.”

    “A December 13, 2006 cable, “Influencing the SARG [Syrian government] in the End of 2006,”1 indicates that, as far back as 2006 – five years before “Arab Spring” protests in Syria – destabilizing the Syrian government was a central motivation of US policy. The author of the cable was William Roebuck, at the time chargé d’affaires at the US embassy in Damascus. The cable outlines strategies for destabilizing the Syrian government. In the cable, Roebuck wrote:
    We believe Bashar’s weaknesses are in how he chooses to react to looming issues, both perceived and real, such as the conflict between economic reform steps (however limited) and entrenched, corrupt forces, the Kurdish question, and the potential threat to the regime from the increasing presence of transiting Islamist extremists. This cable summarizes our assessment of these vulnerabilities and suggests that there may be actions, statements, and signals that the USG can send that will improve the likelihood of such opportunities arising.”

  25. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    13. January 2017 at 15:29

    Harding, One of the few cases I agree with you. None of this is any worse than things Trump has publicly admitted to. He said he likes to grope women, he says the Russians should release all sorts of dirt on Hillary. The hooker claims are less serious than the 11 molestation charges. We already know he ran a “university” that merely bilked consumers. Even if everything were true, it would not be any worse than what we already know. It’s a big yawn in my view. The voters don’t care.

    Ben, Bizarre that you would want to defend such an idiot. The claims were “ridiculous”? Do you want a president who doesn’t even know what Putin is capable of? If Trump said the charges were “unproven” I’d have no complaint. But “ridiculous”? Please.

Leave a Reply