Sunday, June 25, 2017

Trump's tweets are a goldmine for spies, and they can use them to anticipate his next move or even determine what they will be.

Courtesy of WaPo: 

Trump’s Twitter feed is a gold mine for every foreign intelligence agency. Usually, intelligence officers’ efforts to collect information on world leaders are methodical, painstaking and often covert. CIA operatives have risked their lives to learn about foreign leaders so the United States could devise strategies to counter our adversaries. With Trump, though, secret operations are not necessary to understand what’s on his mind: The president’s unfiltered thoughts are available night and day, broadcast to his 32.7 million Twitter followers immediately and without much obvious mediation by diplomats, strategists or handlers. 

Intelligence agencies try to answer these main questions when looking at a rival head of state: Who is he as a person? What type of leader is he? How does that compare to what he strives to be or presents himself as? What can we expect from him? And how can we use this insight to our advantage? 

At the CIA, I tracked and analyzed terrorists and other U.S. enemies, including North Korea. But we never had such a rich source of raw intelligence about a world leader, and we certainly never had the opportunity that our adversaries (and our allies) have now — to get a real-time glimpse of a major world leader’s preoccupations, personality quirks and habits of mind. If we had, it would have given us significant advantages in our dealings with them. 

Trump’s tweets offer plenty of material for analysis. His frequent strong statements in reaction to news coverage or events make it appear as if he lacks impulse control. In building a profile of Trump, an analyst would offer suggestions on how foreign nations could instigate stress or deescalate situations, depending on what type of influence they may want to have over the president.

Great, so not only is Trump embarrassing the country with his constant tweeting, but he is also allowing foreign spies to monitor and perhaps manipulate him like no other president before him.

A little further down in the article are these two paragraphs: 

What Trump doesn’t say can be very revealing, too. For instance, the lapse of time between when the USS Fitzgerald collided with a cargo ship off the coast of Japan (12:30 p.m. on June 16, in Washington) and when the president tweeted about the incident (10:08 a.m. the next day) was nearly 23 hours. The tragedy marked the U.S. Navy’s most significant loss of life aboard a vessel since terrorists bombed the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000. 

Typically, a president would quickly make public remarks about a significant military loss. With Trump, intelligence analysts would note the inconsistency compared with previous administrations and search for similar patterns. Is Trump so hands-off that he waited for his secretary of defense to speak? Did something else capture his attention during those hours that he found to be a higher priority? Between the crash and his first public statement about it, Trump tweeted a video of his remarks on a new Cuba policy, a picture of himself signing the Cuba memorandum and a reference to his campaign promise about Cuba; he also retweeted Sean Hannity, a Fox News personality, promoting an upcoming show on the “Deep State’s allies in the media” working to undermine Trump. 

Fairly easy to determine from his tweets that Trump does not know how to respond to a national crisis or emergency until he receives instruction from his aides, but has a knee jerk reaction to every perceived slight which inspires a quick and most often inappropriate off the cuff response.

At the end of the article there is this observation:

Even deleted tweets would be of interest. Trump mostly appears to delete tweets because of spelling errors, later replacing them with a correction. For an intelligence analyst, this would confirm that Trump’s Twitter feed really is a raw insight into his thought process, without much input from aides. 

Analysts would also be likely to use technology to perform content analysis on the president’s tweets in the aggregate. Intelligence agencies can employ a more robust version than the open-source projects that news organizations have used, because they can marry Trump’s tweets with information they collect through intercepts and other means. Software could look for patterns in speech or word categories representing confidence related to policy, whether Trump is considering opposing points of view and if he harbors uncertainty toward any subject. Computers can perform metadata analysis to build timelines and compare Trump’s Twitter feed with his known public schedule, creating a database of when and where he tweets and what else he’s doing at the time. Anything that provides a digital footprint adds context to the analysis. 

Trump says it’s the press’s fault that he uses Twitter as much as he does. His aides clearly want him to stop, but the president just as clearly wants and needs to be heard unfiltered. Fortunately for him, the platform lets him speak directly to his supporters whenever he chooses. Unfortunately for the rest of us, they aren’t the only ones listening.

So there you have it, yet another reason to be mortified, and possibly even terrified, by this presidency.

You know when I pictured a Trump presidency I quite literally pictured an apocalyptic landscape where the entire country was in various stages of decay and self destruction.

I actually think I might have underestimated how bad it was going to be.

We're not even half way through the first year yet.


  1. Anonymous2:19 PM

    Moderator?: "What are your plans Mr. Trump?"

    Trump: I have a plan. A very good plan my plan is so good & so good it is such a good plan so good my plan

    6:38 PM - 9 Oct 2016

    1. Anonymous3:46 PM

      Clearly a double talking ignorant SOB!
      Of course his ignorant supporters believe he is saying something intelligent? Just not sure what he means .Duh, oh well?

  2. "the lapse of time between when the USS Fitzgerald collided with a cargo ship off the coast of Japan (12:30 p.m. on June 16, in Washington) and when the president tweeted about the incident (10:08 a.m. the next day) was nearly 23 hours."
    A whole paragraph about the possible reasons for the delay in trump's mentioning the Navy deaths.

    He didn't bother because he just didn't give a shit.

    Other people's lives mean nothing to him.

    He just does not give a damn about Americans or America.

    1. Anonymous3:44 PM

      There still has been very little information about the collision. From what I've found on the internet (not in any newspaper, mind you) the cargo ship belongs to a Japanese company but sails under the Filipino flag and has a Filipino crew. Did the cargo ship hang around to look for survivors from the destroyer? I know that the Japanese Coast Guard and Navy joined in the search.

      If this had happened while President Obama was in office, there would have been constant calls from the GOP for his impeachment and for some more Congressional hearings into Hillary Clinton - just because. Trump has gotten away with his "myth" response because he's a Republican and only for that reason.

      Why hasn't the media been more informative to the public? This collision was a big deal - there's a sizable gash in the side of the destroyer. Were there problems in its construction? Why wasn't anyone on watch on the destroyer aware that the cargo ship was lunging towards it? Is it possible that it was a "terrorist" act? I'm just a senior citizen from Northern Michigan and I'd like to know more about how it happened and why. I guess the Trump administration just doesn't care.

    2. Anonymous4:51 AM

      On "Politicusa" I just read that there are multiple investigations going on now. The cargo ship apparently warned the destroyer about ten minutes before the collision but the destroyer stayed on course. The container ship then came back to the scene of the accident after six nautical miles to help with the rescues. The whole think does seem quite bizarre, especially the reluctance of the media and the GOP in Congress to make any comment.

  3. Anonymous2:39 PM


    Are you bored?

    What eff are you doing tweeting about Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders?

    Trump read my lips:

    MOVE ON!

    Trump with all this free time go make some phone calls regarding healthcare

    BETTER YET, Have a meeting with the CIA, FBI and JARED KUSHNER regarding the Russians hacking into our systems.

    Trump we're not paying you to relive your campaign days

    1. Anonymous4:24 PM

      See this is the problem. In reality trump did not win the election because it was rigged. He knows it, putin knows it and we know it. Trump cannot move on because he did not actually win and now is in legal trouble for collusion, treason and espionage. Wow.

  4. Anonymous3:10 PM

    Trump is not capable of being employed by the people for 1yr let alone 4yrs. The guy has swamp and scandal all over him. His entire life is like a soap opera and unreal info commercial. There is no way trump will last because trump himself will impeach himself. He appears miserable and already In a prison.

  5. Anonymous3:10 PM

    The fat ass needs to be dumped! How many times have I typed those words on this blog? He is a detriment to our country - he is a liar and fraud - he's got a horrid reputation as a business man - he's led an awful life - been married more than once - has had affairs while married - truly has an ugly heart - is a proven racist - and, an imbecile!

    He does not represent me and I do not recognize him as potus.


  6. Anonymous3:11 PM

    We're only 'days' into his first term, IM! Truly a fucking mess!

    1. Anonymous3:45 PM

      And we, the people, have aged about twenty years in these past Trump-filled weeks.

    2. Anonymous10:49 PM

      Beaglemon @3:45
      I 'fear' you could be for telling the truth to our aging...

  7. Anonymous3:14 PM

    With regards to Russian election interference, will Trump be able to justify his lack of action on it by claiming Obama didn't do enough between last August and January? I guess as long as the GOP holds power in Congress. They don't seem to care about it as long as it benefits them.

    1. Anonymous4:07 PM

      As long as he screams, "Obama Obama Obama," he gets away with it. Perhaps the stupid should wake up and see who's doing what to whom.

      Oh $arah....poor poor $arah, If only Joe Lieberman had let you touch him, you could have orgasmed for days!


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