Democrats Have a Very Convenient Attitude Toward Intelligence Secrets

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The moment that President Donald Trump handed Attorney General William Barr the authority to declassify intelligence documents as he saw fit, the Democrats and “retired intelligence officials” (read: Trump critics) went into conniptions. Knowing that Barr’s investigation into the origins of the Russia probe would lead to the exposure of Obama administration wrongdoing, they cried foul into the void, demanding that Trump stop trying to turn America into a dictatorship.

“While Trump stonewalls the public from learning the truth about his obstruction of justice, Trump and Barr conspire to weaponize law enforcement and classified information against their political enemies. The coverup has entered a new and dangerous phase. This is un-American,” said conspiracy theorist Adam Schiff (D-CA).

“People risk their lives to gather the intelligence material that President Trump and Attorney General Barr are so eager to politicize,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA). “Selectively declassifying sources and methods in order to serve a political agenda will make it harder for the intelligence community to do their jobs protecting this country from those who wish to do us harm.”

“Trump dangerously politicizes intelligence declassification—giving his henchman AG sweeping powers to weaponize classified info against political foes,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) tweeted. “No safeguards, no accountability, no respect for intel sources—a deeply perilous recipe to distract from mounting troubles.”

We might be able to take their concerns more seriously…if they were not just arguing from the opposite side of the fence a month ago. Angered at the redactions in the Mueller report, where they absurdly believed all of Trump’s treason was hidden, they lambasted Barr and the administration for refusing to expose sources and methods to Congress and the American people.

“The redactions appear to be significant,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler in April. “Even the redacted version of the report outlines serious instances of wrongdoing by President Trump and his closest associates. It now falls to Congress to determine the full scope of that alleged misconduct and to decide what steps we must take going forward.”

Tweeting out a photo of a mostly-redacted page in the report, Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote: “This is a disgrace. The American people deserve answers—and Special Counsel Robert Mueller should testify publicly before Congress. #ReleaseTheFullReport.”

Fellow 2020 candidate Kirsten Gillibrand said, “Now that the Mueller report is public, the American people deserve full transparency and accountability. The Senate should hold public hearings on the investigation with major witnesses and Mueller should testify to his findings. And give Congress the full, unredacted report.”

It could not be more obvious that Democrats’ concern with the exposure of sensitive classified material is inversely correlated with how much that exposure will help their political narrative. A responsible media might be expected to point that hypocrisy out. But then that would presume that the mainstream media isn’t fully in the tank for the Democratic Party.