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The Devin Nunes Memo: A Crisis

It matters little if President Donald Trump is a Manchurian candidate, or not. It matters little because the end result is the same. The American president has weakened American alliances, in one case going all the way to the Churchill-Roosevelt North American Treaty of 1942. This treaty, between the US President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was the basis for intelligence sharing during World War Two.

After the war this led to a group of Western countries. These were the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand, to share intelligence. It is known as the five eyes, and it is a product of the cold war. The objective of the “five eyes” was to contain and defeat the Soviet Union. It is partly where the tropes of the James Bond movies come from. Yes, there was cooperation between MI6 and the CIA. Indeed, there was very deep cooperation.

U.S Intelligence has warned about the end of this cooperation. These fears started early, after Trump came to power. It was a sense that the US might be going towards Moscow, which is not seen as a friendly regime by many countries.

Then came the Nov 23, 2017 meeting with Sergei Lavrov. During this meeting Donald Trump gave the Russian government highly classified Israeli intelligence on the Islamic State. The Israelis have since stopped trusting the US with sensitive information.

Then comes today. The British have warned that the release of the Nunez Memo (already done) will risk sources and methods. This is speak to people are going to die. This is dangerous, and the UK Independent has reported that the release will mean the UK will not share information.

This is no longer whether you believe the Russians interfered in American elections or not. Or the denials from the President to this point. Facts on the ground are clear. If this president presumably is not working to benefit Vladimir Putin’s efforts to weaken the United States, he might as well be.

Which brings me back to the low motion crisis we are living through. There are many parallels to Watergate. The difference, and this matters, is that Watergate did incredible damage to American institutions. This slow motion crisis is doing incredible damage to American institutions, such as the FBI, but also to alliances.

Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game.

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