The Thinker: Rich Galen


The definition of the word mull.
Mullings by Rich Galen ®
An American Cyber-Column By Rich Galen
Click here for the Secret Decoder Ring to this issue!

Recent Issues of Mullings          Secret Decoder Ring for this Issue

What Does He Know NOW?

Rich Galen

Tuesday June 31, 2020

Follow richgalen on Twitter Twitter

Click here for an Easy Print Version

  • For those of you who are not of a certain age, the Watergate Scandal still hangs over American politics like a malicious fog.

  • Without spending a lot of time here, the general outlines are Richard Nixon's re-election campaign thought they needed inside info on what the Democrats were up to so they hired a bunch of CIA-affiliated guys to break into the DNC headquarters which, at the time, was located in the Watergate Complex just outside of Georgetown along the Potomac River.

  • They got caught.

  • Three things. It is the reason that ANY scandal in Washington is automatically granted the suffix "-gate." It led to the resignation of Richard Nixon. It put into the U.S. political lexicon the famous questions of the Senator from Tennessee, Howard Baker: "What did he know, and when did he know it?"

  • If you watched all that in real time - 48 years ago - you are in the high-risk category for COVID-19 today.

  • This all came to mind today as I consider the Trump Administration's stumbling around trying to explain what Trump knew about the Russian's putting a bounty on coalition forces with the Taliban in Afghanistan and when he knew it.

  • Saying he was never briefed about it is not working out. It turns out it was in his written briefing papers as early as February, 2020.


    As I Tweeted, the only way to get Trump to read something is to have it printed in the NY Post on Page Six. Anything else is a waste of trees.


  • The Daily Presidential Brief is not, as someone said, "War and Peace." It is a short document consisting of 3-5 "articles" that the Intelligence Community believe are significant enough to be brought to the attention of the President. Any President.

  • This case doesn't lend itself to the standard back-up excuse of the White House Staff when Trump says something stupid: "He was just kidding." As if the notion of kidding about some 130,000 Americans dead of COVID-19 would ever enter into, much less be the top entry, in the "Explaining the President's Comments" briefing book for staff.

  • There is no question that Trump has an unhealthy relationship with Vladimir Putin. In a piece for, Watergate (there's that connection again) reporter Carl Bernstein wrote about Trump's phone calls with other heads of state.
    "President Donald Trump was so consistently unprepared for discussion of serious issues, so often outplayed in his conversations with powerful leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin that the calls helped convince some senior US officials that the President himself posed a danger to the national security of the United States "

  • We know, the WH staff knows, Vladimir Putin knows Trump reads nothing so, if the Intel Community thought it was really important they would have briefed him orally.

  • Trump might not have paid attention to the oral briefing, either, but at least a "best effort" would have been made.

  • All that aside

  • As the problems facing his Administration - political, health, domestic, foreign - continue to mount as the days to election continue to shrink, it is unlikely that the Administration can continue to throw sand in our eyes by arguing over what Trump knew and when he knew it.

  • According to a New York Times article
    "United States intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan alerted their superiors as early as January to a suspected Russian plot to pay bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan" [emphasis mine]

  • Intel knew about it in January. Even Trump knows about it now.

  • Long-term readers will remember that before I made "Marietta College (Marietta, Ohio 45750)" into the Official Mullings Drinking Game I wrote about my days in Iraq.

  • I spent a lot of time outside of the Green Zone in place like Mosul, Ramadi, and (twice) Fallujah. When I made those trips I was surrounded by real soldiers.


    I never put U.S. soldiers in danger. I merely hooked onto convoys that were already headed toward where I needed to go.

    Because I carried an 9mm Beretta for which I had qualified, and because of my National Guard experience I was often handed an M-16, I was another defensive asset for the convoy.


  • All that to say, I feel very strongly about these reports of Russia paying the Taliban to kill U.S. servicemembers.

  • And, I feel very strongly that the Trump Administration appears to be in full deflection mode, rather than preparing a list of sanctions against Putin and Russia for having been found out.

  • Trump knows about it now and we would like to know what, if anything, he's going to do about it.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the Wikipedia entries for the Daily Presidential Brief and the Watergate scandal; to the Carl Bernstein CNN article, and to the Reuters COVID-19 tracker.

    The Mullfoto today is what NOT to wear when going to your local bank

-- END --

Copyright © 2020 Barrington Worldwide, LLC.
All Rights Reserved

Become a
Paid Mullings Subscriber!

Current Issue | Secret Decoder Ring | Past Issues | Email Rich | Rich Who?

Copyright 2013 Barrington Worldwide, LLC | Site design by Campaign Solutions.